RALEIGH, N.C., July 6 -- The North Carolina Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Heidi Lorane Hunt, 33, of 717 Amherst Road Lot 7, Morganton; she is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.
Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Feb. 24, 2012, Hunt reported to the Morganton Department of Public Safety that her laptop computer, valued at $1,449.99, had been taken from her home during a burglary. Hunt then filed an insurance claim with State Farm Insurance. After interviewing Hunt, Morganton Department of Public Safety detectives allege that she did not own the laptop computer she had reported as stolen.
Hunt was arrested on July 5 by authorities with the Burke County Sheriff's Office. She was placed under a $5,000 unsecured bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 9.
The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have received more than 14,000 complaints, resulting in 602 arrests, 333 criminal convictions and more than 110 pending court cases. These efforts have delivered more than $48.5 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.
An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.
TNS hc11-120707-JF78-3943087 StaffFurigay