For Immediate Release: October 15, 2013

Alleged Staged Accident Scheme Uncovered in Halifax County

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of four people in an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a staged auto accident in Halifax County.

Christian Patrice Alston, 24, of 684 Huckleberry Bottom Road, Roanoke Rapids, was charged with one count each of filing a false report to a police station, insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Alston was arrested on Oct. 14 and placed under $1,000 unsecured bond.

Patrick Henry Alston, 49, of 684 Huckleberry Bottom Road, Roanoke Rapids, was charged with one count each of filing a false report to a police station, insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Alston was arrested on Oct. 10 and placed under a $5,000 secured bond.

Cleve Edward Fleming, 49, of 867 Roper Springs Road, Littleton, was charged with one count each of filing a false report to a police station, insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Fleming was arrested on Oct. 10 and placed under a $5,000 unsecured bond.

Phillip Tyrone Putney, 27, of 179 Sedum Lane, Roanoke Rapids, was charged with one count each of filing a false report to a police station, insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Putney was arrested on Oct. 14 and placed under a $2,500 unsecured bond.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the defendants conspired to defraud RepWest Insurance Company of several thousand dollars by submitting fraudulent documentation in support of insurance claims for injuries caused by a staged motor vehicle accident in May 2013.

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--