For Immediate Release: February 19, 2019

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Garner man faces numerous charges related to renters' insurance fraud

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Dwight Eugene Bell Jr., 30, of 920 Bryan Place, Garner, on multiple charges involving renters' insurance policies.

Bell is charged with five counts of felony insurance fraud, three counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense, two counts of felony attempting to obtain property by false pretense, felony possession of a card forgery device, felony conspiracy, and misdemeanor possession or manufacture of a fraudulent ID.

According to the arrest warrants, Bell provided fraudulent receipts, falsely reported items as stolen, and conspired with others in an attempt to obtain $79,082.04 in renters' insurance claims from State Farm Fire Casualty Insurance Co.

The offenses occurred between Oct. 31, 2017, and Nov. 15, 2018.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance's Criminal Investigations Division, along with Johnston County deputies and Garner police, arrested Bell on Feb. 7. He was given a $75,000 secured bond.

Further arrests are expected as the investigation continues.

Fraud is felt every time consumers pay their insurance premiums. Commissioner Causey estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums.

"Insurance fraud affects our economy. Not only does it damage insurance companies, it cheats businesses and consumers too," Commissioner Causey said. "This kind of white-collar crime is unacceptable. That's why I've doubled the number of Special Agents to investigate insurance fraud. Cracking down on fraud will put more money in the pockets of businesses and consumers."

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

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