For Immediate Release: August 3, 2018

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Special agents charge Martin County women with insurance fraud

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrests of Telsey Bess, 24, and Shelice Monee Whitaker, 25, both of 4600 N.C. Highway 125, Oak City.

Special agents with the N.C. Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division charged both with felony insurance fraud.

According to the arrest warrant, Bess submitted a false renter’s insurance claim to Homesite Insurance Co., and Whitaker substantiated it.

The offenses occurred between Feb. 21 and June 26, according to the warrants. Special agents arrested the two on June 27 in Martin County. They were placed under a $2,000 secured 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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