For Immediate Release: May 25, 2018

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Special agents charge Hope Mills woman with insurance fraud

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Charlee Surgick Watts, 20, of 1526 Aristo Place Apartment 7, Hope Mills. Watts was charged with felony insurance fraud.

According to a warrant, Watts provided false information to Progressive Insurance while getting a lapsed auto policy reinstated, saying there had been no loss when, in fact, her vehicle had been damaged during the lapsed period.

Special agents with the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division say that Watts allowed her auto insurance policy to lapse on Jan. 27 for non-payment. Watts was involved in an auto accident around 9:45 a.m. Feb. 2 and called her insurance company around 10 a.m. that day to reinstate her auto policy.

Watts was arrested on May 11 in Cumberland County and released on a $1,000 unsecured bond.

Insurance fraud costs American consumers approximately $80 billion dollars a year. According to Commissioner Causey, fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents of every dollar paid on insurance premiums -- and it’s getting worse.

“I am determined to stem the tide of insurance fraud in this state in order to save residents money,” said Commissioner Causey. “That’s why I am dedicated to the mission of our NCDOI law enforcement officers who investigate and prosecute claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud.”

To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigation Division at 919-807-6840.  Callers may remain anonymous.  Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com

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