For Immediate Release: May 31, 2013

Five Arrested in Alleged Durham Staged Accident Scam

Two others wanted for suspected insurance fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of five people in an insurance fraud scheme involving staged auto accidents in Durham County. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating two additional suspects.

Natoyia Barbee, 29, of Wyldewood Drive, Durham, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense, attempting to obtain property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense, and two counts of insurance fraud. Barbee was placed under a $30,000 secured bond.

Ernest Bostic, 30, 3439 Glasson St., Durham, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, as well as two counts each of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud. The bond amount for Bostic has not been set; Bostic was incarcerated at the time of the arrest.

Tomika Green, 33, of 1819-D Haverford Road, Durham, was charged with two counts each of obtaining property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense, insurance fraud and misdemeanor child abuse. Green was placed under a $20,000 secured bond.

Walter Harris, Jr., 36, 1512 Wabash St., Durham, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud. The bond amount for Harris has not been set; Harris was incarcerated at the time of the arrest.

Lachuante Rankin, 30, of 300 Macon St., Durham, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, as well as two counts each of insurance fraud and misdemeanor child abuse. Rankin was placed under a $30,000 secured bond.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between May 4, 2011, and May 22, 2011, the suspects staged three automobile accidents, during which several suspects claimed to be injured and submitted fraudulent insurance claims to Nationwide Insurance Company and Progressive Insurance Company. Nationwide and Progressive representatives alerted the Department of Insurance after discovering that all three accidents involved the same suspects as either passengers or drivers. More than $14,000 had been paid by the insurance companies to the suspects for their medical claims. The alleged child abuse charges stem from allegations that Green and Rankin’s children were passengers in the vehicles during the time of the staged accidents.

Investigators are seeking two additional suspects in association with this case. They are:

Antoinette Henderson, 26, of 348 Kilarney Drive, Durham, is wanted for one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud.

Lenora Jackson-Wilson, 41, 3507 Century Oaks Drive, Durham, is wanted for one count each of obtaining property by false pretense, conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public’s assistance in locating Henderson and Jackson-Wilson. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is encouraged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have received more than 18,600 complaints, resulting in 800 arrests and 430 criminal convictions. These efforts have delivered more than $55 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.

An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

--NCDOI--