For Immediate Release: February 10, 2014

Additional Arrests in Alleged Staged Accident Ring in Bertie and Hertford Countie

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of six suspects in an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving a series of staged auto accidents in Bertie and Hertford Counties. Three people were arrested in connection with the alleged scheme in January 2014.The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating an additional suspect in association with this case.

Erika Hoggard, 24, of 2744 U.S. Highway 13, Ahoskie, was charged with one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud. Hoggard was arrested on Feb. 3 and placed under a $3,000 bond.

Shemelle Hymn, 19, of 107 Cardinal Lane, Windsor, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Hyman was arrested on Feb. 3 and placed under a $3,000 bond.

Tammy Denise Miller, 46, of 126 Pioneer Ave., Colerain, was charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and insurance fraud. Miller was arrested on Feb. 3 and placed under a $3,000 bond.

Ashley Anastasia Perry, 27, of 103 Kelly Park Lane, Ahoskie, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Perry was arrested on Feb. 2 and placed under a $10,000 bond.

Fred Ledel Riddick, 43, of 319 Brown Road, Colerain, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and filing a false police report. Riddick was arrested on Feb. 4 and placed under a $5,000 bond.

Sharonda Sessoms, 25, of 110 Bertie Park Lane, Aulander, was charged in Bertie County with four counts of insurance fraud, four counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and one count of filing a false police report. She was charged in Hertford County with one count each of insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Sessoms was arrested on Feb. 6 and placed under an $8,000 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 an additional suspect in association with this case.

Crystal Reid, 34, of 115 Hertford St., Cofield, is wanted for one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and insurance fraud.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating this suspect. 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 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.

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