For Immediate Release: October 9, 2013

Arrests Made in Chop Shop Insurance Scheme

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of four people in an insurance fraud scheme involving all-terrain vehicles and custom motorcycles.

Gerald Woodrow Anderson ,58, of Pecan Road, Raleigh, was charged with ten counts each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. He was released on a written promise to appear in court.

Spencer Evander Bowman, 40, of Deer Hill Circle, Belews Creek, was charged with 29 counts of insurance fraud, 29 counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of obtaining property by false pretense with a value greater than $100,000, 11 counts of felonious altering of serial numbers, and one count of chop shop activity. He was placed under a $500,000 secured bond.

Spencer Gorman Bowman, 66, of Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. He was released on a written promise to appear in court.

Bradley Shawn Magnus, 41, of Belews Ridge Lane, Belews Creek, was charged with four counts each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. He was released on a written promise to appear in court.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the men participated in a scheme to alter identifying information on all-terrain vehicles and custom motorcycles and then submit fraudulent insurance claims to Allstate, Alpha, American Reliable, Farm Bureau, Foremost, GEICO, GMAC, Markel, Nationwide, Progressive, Rep West, State Farm, Travelers and USAA insurance companies. The payout of all claims involved in the investigation totaled more than $670,000. The investigation is ongoing and could result in further arrests.

The men were arrested on Sept. 26 with the assistance of the Guilford County and Forsyth County Sheriff's Offices. In addition, inspectors from the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles License & Theft Bureau worked on the case for more than six months and participated in the arrests.

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 made more than 800 arrests, resulting in 430 criminal convictions thus far. 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--