For Immediate Release: May 6, 2015

Richmond County Woman Accused of Fraudulently Burning Buildings

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Kalavatibahen Subhashchandra Patel, 49, of 429 Lumyer Road, Rockingham; she is charged with one count of fraudulently burning a dwelling, one count of burning certain buildings, two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators accuse Patel of participating in the burning of a commercial building at 432 U.S. Highway 1 South, Rockingham, and making false statements about the fire to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in an attempt to obtain more than $360,000 in December 2014.

Investigators allege that, in January 2015, Patel participated in the burning of a residence she owned at 579 U.S. Highway 1 South and made false statements about the fires in an attempt to obtain more than $155,000 in insurance proceeds from Allstate Insurance Company.

With assistance from Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Patel was arrested on May 4 in Richmond County and placed under a $15,000 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--