For Immediate Release: February 13, 2015

Halifax County Man Arrested for Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Robert Earl Bland, 33, of 780 William St., Roanoke Rapids; he is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators accuse Bland of making a false claim with N.C. Farm Bureau Insurance Company in August 2012 that a utility trailer and engine driven welder were stolen from his home. As result of the claim, he received approximately $6,000 from the insurance company. Investigators allege that the trailer was not stolen and actually belonged to a member of Bland's family.

Bland was arrested on Feb. 12 with the assistance of the Halifax County Sheriff's Office and was placed under a $5,000 bond.

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--