For Immediate Release: March 17, 2015

Bladen County Couple Accused of Insurance Fraud after House Fire

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrests of Bradley Jerome Townsend, 39, and Moneat Carr Townsend, 37, both of 7614 Hwy 41 East, Elizabethtown.

Bradley Townsend is charged with two counts of insurance fraud and one count each of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, obtaining property by false pretense and felony conspiracy.

Moneat Townsend is charged with one count each of insurance fraud, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and felony conspiracy.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the husband and wife made multiple misrepresentations—including overinflating the cost of items damaged—during a claim investigation conducted by State Farm Insurance after a fire at their home in Garland on Dec. 12, 2014. The Townsends received more than $28,000 in benefits from State Farm before the allegedly false claim was denied.

Bradley Townsend is also accused of fraudulently obtaining $2,193 from Life of the South Insurance for a claim connected to a personal loan. Townsend reported that electronics used as collateral for the loan had been lost in the fire, but investigators allege he gave false information to the company about the location of the items during the fire and attempted to be compensated by State Farm for the same alleged damage to the same items.

Bradley Townsend and Moneat Townsend were arrested in Bladen County on March 16; each 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--