For Immediate Release: October 30, 2013

NCDOI Uncovers Alleged Building Code Scam in Wilson County

Seeks public assistance in locating additional suspects and possible victims

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of seven people for a scheme involving the exploitation of an elder adult in Wilson County. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating additional suspects in association with this case.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the group defrauded an individual of more than $7,400 between May 23, 2013, and Oct. 10, 2013. Six of the nine are accused of unlawfully presenting themselves as City of Wilson code enforcement officials and misleading the alleged victim that his home was in violation of state building codes and required his payment to be brought into compliance. He wrote several personal checks, which were cashed by the defendants.

NCDOI investigators worked with banking officials, the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal, the City of Wilson and the Wilson County Sheriff's Office to identity the defendants and verify that none of them were licensed code enforcement officials.

The following individuals have been arrested and charged:

Heather Roseanne Adcock, 18, of 2953 Abner Drive, Rocky Mount, was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense. She was arrested on Oct. 29.

Christine Hope Howlett Ezzell, 36, of 449 Tobacco Road Rocky Mount, was charged with four counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count each of exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official. She was arrested on Oct. 25.

Madison Earl Howlett, 28, of 449 Tobacco Road, Rocky Mount, was charged with five counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count each of exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official. He was arrested on Oct. 30.

Jonathan Taylor "JT" O'Neal, 26, of 3633 Highway 301N, Wilson, was charged with four counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count each of exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official. He was arrested on Oct. 24.

Michael Sidney O'Neal, 24, of 3633 Highway 301, Wilson, was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense. He was arrested on Oct. 28.

Nelson Skinner II, 38, of 50 Church St., Black Creek, was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense. He was arrested on Oct. 28.

Andrew Jason Ward, 32, of 3935 Taylor Store Road, Nashville, was charged with five counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count each of exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official. He was arrested on Oct. 30.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating these additional suspects:

Jon Chase Daniels, 28, of 119 S. Harris St., Rocky Mount, is wanted for five counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count each of exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official.

Bobbilee Faith Joyner, 26, of 3941 Whitley Circle, Rocky Mount, is wanted for one count each of obtaining property by false pretense, exploitation of an elder adult and unlawfully acting as a code enforcement official.

Douglas Michael Reason, 28, of 6056 Webbs Lake Road, Elm City, is wanted for one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

Jeffrey Lane Tyler, 27, of 1029 Compass Creek Drive, Rocky Mount, is wanted for one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

If you have information on their whereabouts, or if you believe someone you know may be a victim, you are encouraged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous.

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--