Ronnie Bernard Truesdale, 41, was arrested Tuesday and charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, which is a felony, the North Carolina Department of Insurance said in a news release. After being taken into custody by Wake County sheriff's deputies and DOI special agents, Truesdale was given a $10,000 secured bond, according to the release.
Special agents with the department's criminal investigations division determined that Truesdale provided Zurich North America, an insurer for McDonald's restaurants, with a manipulated photo when he claimed that there was a hair in his burger, and that consuming the burger made him nauseous, the release stated.
Investigators later determined the hair was placed on the burger after the wrapper was removed, officials said. Officials did not say when Truesdale filed his claim, but said the offenses occurred between Oct. 15, 2020 and March 16, 2021.
In his claim, Truesdale had sought damages for pain and suffering, in addition to $1,595.90 in medical expenses paid to a local hospital, the department said.
"Insurance fraud hurts consumers. Approximately 20% of your insurance premium goes to cover the cost of fraud," North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said in the release. "That's why I'm aggressively pursuing and prosecuting insurance fraud in North Carolina."
Anyone with knowledge of insurance fraud or other white-collar crimes should report it to the insurance department's criminal investigations division at 919-807-6840. Callers can report information anonymously.
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