For Immediate Release: June 6, 2013

NCDOI Investigators Help Prevent Fraud in Oklahoma Disaster Areas

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced today that he has deployed five criminal investigators from the North Carolina Department of Insurance to Oklahoma to assist the Oklahoma Insurance Department in the wake of storms and tornadoes in the state.

"As soon as I learned about the storm damage in Oklahoma, I asked how the North Carolina Department of Insurance could be of assistance,” said Goodwin. “My team is committed to supporting our counterparts at the Oklahoma Insurance Department as they help their communities recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Oklahoma during this difficult time."

The NCDOI investigators are helping other law enforcement officers in Moore, Okla., with proactive anti-fraud efforts to protect homeowners from scam artists who target disaster victims. The team arrived in Oklahoma on Tuesday and expects to return on Sunday. NCDOI is prepared to provide other assistance as requested.

"I am very appreciative of the assistance offered by Commissioner Goodwin and the North Carolina Department of Insurance,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak. “Their dedicated investigators are trained to spot insurance fraud and stop criminals in their tracks. I have no doubt their presence will make a big difference in Oklahoma disaster zones."

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--