For Immediate Release: August 2, 2013

Hope Mills Insurance Agent Charged with Embezzlement

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Gina Chiuppi Piers, 45, of 5623 Tee Court, Hope Mills; she was charged with two counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between June 12, 2012, and May 22, 2013 — while working as an insurance agent for a Cumberland County insurance agency — Piers embezzled $82,196.92. Investigators accuse Piers of forging and submitting 51 fraudulent premium financial agreements and using the funds for her own personal benefit. It addition, it is alleged that Piers charged some customers double for coverage and forged signatures on fraudulent insurance policies.

Piers was arrested on Aug. 2 in Cumberland County and placed under a $20,000 unsecured bond. Piers has surrendered her North Carolina insurance agent’s license and is expected to appear in court Aug. 5.

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.

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