10 arrested in N.C. on charges of defrauding insurance companies of $1 million
Nationwide Insurance helps break up largest auto insurance fraud ring in state history
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 1, 2006
Charley Gillespie (614) 249-5701
Columbus, Ohio— Nationwide Insurance helped the North Carolina Department of Insurance break up what officials are calling the largest auto insurance fraud ring in state history.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Long today announced the arrest of 10 residents of Cleveland and Rutherford Counties accused of defrauding insurance companies of an estimated $1 million. Each is charged with felony counts of insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and conspiracy.
Authorities say the alleged ring caused accidents deliberately, filed 487 fake insurance claims, claimed fake or exaggerated injuries, and/or misrepresented information on insurance applications.
Nationwide – one of at least eight insurance companies that have allegedly been defrauded – helped the Department of Insurance (DOI) collect evidence of unusual claim activity associated with the same vehicles and the same addresses.
“It’s important that we fight these types of crimes because undetected fraud costs everyone in the form of higher insurance premiums,” said Ray Albertini, associate vice president of Nationwide’s Special Investigations Unit. “As the largest auto insurer in the state, we were pleased to work with the DOI to bring this alleged fraud ring to justice.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, fraud costs property and casualty insurers $30 billion a year.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $158 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #98 on the Fortune 100 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans. The Nationwide companies include the country’s seventh-largest property/casualty, the fourth-largest
homeowners, the sixth-largest auto insurance group and the country’s largest farm owners insurer. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, the major subsidiary of Nationwide Financial, ranks 11th in assets according to A.M. Best. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
Nationwide and the Nationwide Framemark are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.