For Immediate Release: May 16, 2019

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Greensboro, Burlington men arrested for acting as false bail agents among other charges

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Saphonia Denise Sellars, 26, of 528 N. Scales St., Reidsville. Sellars was charged with felony insurance fraud.

According to the arrest warrant, Sellars told Sentry Insurance Co. that her 2008 Ford Explorer had been stolen when the vehicle had been repossessed about two weeks before the reported theft.

The offense occurred between Dec. 29, 2018, and Jan. 22, 2019.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance's Criminal Investigations Division, along with Eden police, arrested Sellars on May 8. She was given a $1,000 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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