For Immediate Release: February 20, 2019

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Special Agents charge Kannapolis woman with insurance fraud

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Stephanie Blackwood, 34, of 428 Settlers Ridge Drive, Kannapolis. Blackwood was charged with two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, all felonies.

According to the arrest warrants, Blackwood filed two false claims with Progressive Insurance Co. for damage to a vehicle. The first claim was filed before the policy went into effect. The second involved a claim that had previously been reported.

The offenses occurred between Aug. 16, 2018, and Oct. 23, 2018.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance's Criminal Investigations Division and Kannapolis police arrested Blackwood on Feb. 11. She was given a $2,000 secured bond.

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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