For Immediate Release: January 30, 2014

Three Arrested in Alleged Staged Accident Ring in Bertie and Hertford Counties

Investigators seek public assistance in locating additional suspects

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of three people in an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a series of staged auto accidents in Bertie and Hertford Counties. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating two additional suspects in association with this case.

Travis O'Neil Basnight, 28, of 736 Cremo Road, Colerain, was charged with four counts of insurance fraud, four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of filing a false police report. Basnight was arrested on Jan. 28 and placed under a $40,000 bond.

Stephanie Privott, 33, of 216 Old Highway 13 South, Winton, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and filing a false police report. Privott was arrested on Jan. 23 and placed under a $5,000 bond.

Tinesha Ronica Winston, 22, of 550 Sally Freeman Road, Colerain, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Winston was arrested on Jan. 23 and placed under a $5,000 bond.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that over the course of several years, the defendants conspired to defraud several insurance companies of thousands of dollars by submitting fraudulent documentation in support of insurance claims for property damage and injuries caused by more than 30 staged accidents in Bertie and Hertford Counties.

Investigators are seeking additional suspects in association with this case.

Shemelle Hymn, 19, of 107 Cardinal Lane, Windsor, is wanted for insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Ashley Anastasia Perry, 27, of 103 Kelly Park Lane, Ahoskie, is wanted for one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Fred Ledel Riddick, 43, of 319 Brown Road, Colerain, is wanted for once count each of insurance fraud, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and filing a false police report.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating these suspects. Anyone with information on their 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 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--