For Immediate Release: October 29, 2013

Investigators Make Arrests in Wake County Insurance Scheme

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of four people in an alleged embezzlement scheme involving insurance funds.

Anthony Quentin Barlow, 40, of 7373 Sandy Creek Drive, Raleigh, was charged with one count each of embezzlement and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. He was arrested on Oct. 24 and placed under a $30,000 unsecured bond.

Tony Maurice Pittman, 40, of 8037 Bright Oak Trail, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. He was arrested on Oct. 24 and placed under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Sabrina Michelle Smith, 37, of 5300 Talison Court, Raleigh was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. She was arrested on Oct. 24 and placed under a $30,000 unsecured bond.

Rodney Smith, 39, of 5300 Talison Court, Raleigh was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. He was arrested on Oct. 24 and placed under a $30,000 unsecured bond.

Department of Insurance investigators allege that Barlow, while working as a claims associate at Nationwide Insurance, fraudulently used company claims funds to write checks to Sabrina Smith, Rodney Smith and Tony Pittman, who are each accused of receiving and cashing the checks. After reviewing checks written and cashed between June 6, 2010, and Dec. 12, 2012, investigators allege that the defendants embezzled and split approximately $69,000 from the scheme.

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--