For Immediate Release: January 22, 2014

Lillington Man Accused of Filing a False Insurance Claim

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Joel Lane Elliott, 49, of 865 Lincoln McKay St., Lillington; he was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and insurance fraud.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Oct. 29, 2013, Elliott filed a fraudulent auto insurance claim with National General Insurance Company for vandalism damage to his vehicle. Investigators allege that the damage was not the result of vandalism, but that the vehicle was damaged prior to Elliott increasing insurance coverage several months prior.

Elliott was arrested by the Harnett County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 20 and released after a pre-trial hearing.

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 more than 430 criminal convictions. 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--