For Immediate Release: November 20, 2014

Charlotte Insurance Agent Accused of Embezzlement

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Harry Bernard Laughlin, 51, of Kings Parade Blvd., Charlotte; he was charged 28 felony counts of embezzlement by an insurance agent.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between August 2013 and March 2014, while acting as owner and agent of HBL Insurance Agency, Laughlin collected $27,000 in premium payments from 10 customers and re-directed those funds for his personal use. An investigation was launched after the Department of Insurance received complaints from consumers who were given certificates of insurance, but later learned they had no coverage.

Laughlin was arrested on Nov. 19 in Mecklenburg County.

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 1,000 arrests, resulting in more than 500 criminal convictions with more than 200 cases currently pending court. These efforts have delivered more than $61 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--