For Immediate Release: July 3, 2013

Former Robeson County Insurance Agent Accused of Embezzlement

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Christopher McPhatter, 41, of 110 W. Ninth St., Lumberton; he was charged with one count of embezzlement by an insurance agent.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that from Jan. 2012 through October 2012, while working as a licensed insurance agent, McPhatter received insurance premium payments of approximately $3,700 from 21 individuals, but did not apply the funds to their accounts. Investigators accuse McPhatter of keeping the money for his own personal use and gain.

McPhatter surrendered on June 30 to criminal investigators at the Robeson County Detention Center where he was arrested and placed under a $5,000 unsecured bond. McPhatter’s insurance license was revoked prior to his arrest, and he has repaid all of the consumers involved.

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--