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Seven Arrested In Alleged Staged Accident Scam

Targeted News Service

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 19 -- The North Carolina Department of Insurance issued the following news release:

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of seven people in an insurance fraud scheme involving staged auto accidents in Wake County. The Department of Insurance requests assistance from the public in locating three additional suspects.

Iwaun Harper, 39, of 105 Canal St., Conetoe, was charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, two counts of insurance fraud and three counts of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Harper is being held on a $75,000 secured bond.

Morgan Hollins, 23, of 4536 Dilford Drive, Raleigh, was charged with one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Hollins is being held on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Adante Howell, 23, of 1705 Brown Owl Drive, Raleigh, was charged with one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Howell is being held on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Roger Trevon Howell, 22, of 1705 Brown Owl Drive, Raleigh, was charged with one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Howell is being held on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Sedrick Jones, 21, of 4629 S. Halifax Road, Rocky Mount, was charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretense, two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Jones is being held on a $10,000 secured bond.

Erica Merritt, 21, of 804 S. Brooklyn Blvd., Nashville, NC, was charged with three counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, three counts of insurance fraud and four counts of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Merritt is being held on a $35,000 secured bond.

Brittany White, 23, of 4902-B Arcadian Court, Raleigh, was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. White is being held on a $10,000 secured bond.

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Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between May 7, 2012, and June 26, 2012, the suspects staged three automobile accidents, during which several suspects claimed to be injured and submitted false insurance claims to Allstate Insurance Company, Nationwide Insurance Company, North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance, Travelers Insurance and Progressive Insurance. Allstate and Farm Bureau representatives alerted the Department of Insurance after discovering that all three accidents involved the same suspects as either passengers or drivers. More than $84,000 had been paid by the insurance companies to the suspects for their medical claims.

Investigators are seeking three additional suspects in association with this case. They are:

Derrick Fortune, 25, of 4902 Arcadian Court, Raleigh, is wanted for one count of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense.

Corey Jones, 28, of 3912 Old Coach Road, Raleigh, is wanted for one count of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense.

Maurice Ricks, 31, of 120 Tony Drive, Rocky Mount, is wanted for three counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, four counts of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense and three counts of insurance fraud.

Criminal investigators are requesting the public's assistance in locating Fortune, Jones, Merritt and Ricks. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is encouraged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

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 16,800 complaints, resulting in 720 arrests and 380 criminal convictions. These efforts have delivered more than $50 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 hc11-130220-4210816 StaffFurigay

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Copyright: (c) 2013 Targeted News Service
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