For Immediate Release: March 6, 2015

Former Firefighter Accused of Embezzling Department Funds

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Jonathan Shane Cassell, 26, of 111 N. Teachey Road, Wallace; he is charged with 30 counts each of embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense. He is also charged with one count each of insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between March 2012 and September 2014 Cassell embezzled more than $77,000 from Teachey Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as treasurer and a firefighter.

Investigators also accuse Cassell of filing a fraudulent insurance claim with National General Insurance Company reporting that his vehicle had been stolen in October 2014. The vehicle reported stolen was later located with a member of Cassell's family in Tift County, Ga.

Cassell was arrested on March 5 in Duplin County, and his bond was set at $50,000.

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--