For Immediate Release: August 30, 2016

Fayetteville Agent Charged with Falsifying Insurance Applications

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of James Stevie Spears, 44, of 3316 Auburn Drive, Fayetteville; he is charged with one count each of obtaining property by false pretense and providing a false statement on an insurance application.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators accuse Spears of using fictitious information on life insurance applications to earn $4,700 in payment from Bankers Life and Casualty between August 2015 and October 2015. Investigators allege Spears submitted 16 fraudulent life insurance applications for individuals who did not exist.

Spears was arrested on Aug. 23 in Cumberland County and released under a written promise.

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 1,500 arrests, resulting in more than 750 criminal convictions with more than 250 cases currently pending court. These efforts have delivered more than $72.1 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--