For Immediate Release: October 21, 2013

Two Arrested in Alleged Staged Accident Scam in Pitt County

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of two people in an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a staged auto accident in Pitt County. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating one additional suspect in association with this case.

Larry Bernard Wooten Jr., 33, of 3965 CCC Apt. 2, Sterling Point, Greenville, was charged with one count each of filing a false police report, insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. Wooten was arrested on Oct. 16 and placed under $5,000 secured bond.

Ronnie Brenell Cox, 27, of 214 Walters Circle, Winterville, was charged with one count each of filing a false police report, insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense. Cox was arrested on Oct. 17 and placed under a $10,000 secured bond.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the defendants conspired to defraud State Farm Insurance Company and 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 on Aug. 3, 2013.

Mallory Staten, 36, of 5025 Deveron Court, Greenville, is wanted for one count each of filing a false police report, insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating Staten. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is encouraged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

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--