For Immediate Release: August 3, 2018

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Durham man accused of fraudulently making insurance claim on repossessed vehicle

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Vernon Burton, 54, of 45 E. Lawson St. Apt. C, Durham. Burton was charged with felony insurance fraud, felony attempting to obtain property by false pretense, and filing a false report to a police station, a misdemeanor.

According to the arrest warrant, Burton filed an auto insurance claim with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., saying that his vehicle had been stolen when it had actually been repossessed. Burton is also accused of filing a similar report with the Durham Police Department.

The offenses occurred between Jan. 20, 2017, and Feb. 7, 2017. Burton was arrested by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office on June 26 and placed under $2,500 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

--NCDOI--