For Immediate Release: October 28, 2013

Wedding Ring Set Leads to Arrest for Alleged Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Tina Marie Ruggieri, 38, of 1804 Hoosac Drive, Waxhaw; she was charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that Ruggieri attempted to fraudulently obtain $10,000 from Universal North American Insurance Company by falsely claiming that her engagement ring and wedding band set was stolen from her residence in a burglary. When the insurance company asked her about the claim, Ruggieri changed her story and withdrew it.

Ruggieri is accused of fraudulently obtaining $11,529 from Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company after making a second false claim in June 2013 that the same engagement ring and wedding band set had mysteriously disappeared from her home.

Ruggieri was arrested with the assistance of the Union County Sheriff's Office on Oct. 25 and placed under a $5,000 secured bond. She is expected to appear at the Union County District Court on Nov. 21.

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--