A Scotland County woman was taken into custody on Feb. 5 for allegedly lying to her auto insurance company about the way her 2015 Malibu sustained damage. According to investigators with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division, the defendant told Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. that the vehicle was damaged when a tree fell on it during a hurricane.

However, she had allegedly already reported the damage to another auto insurance company, claiming that it happened during a hit and run accident. That company issued a settlement payment to her, but she reportedly didn’t use it to repair the vehicle.

The North Carolina Insurance Commissioner’s Office says that an estimated 15 to 20 percent of each insurance premium paid by North Carolina residents is used to cover fraud losses. As a result, the office has doubled the number of investigators looking into the state’s insurance fraud cases.

Individuals facing insurance fraud charges may be able to help their situation by turning to Charlotte, North Carolina, white-collar criminal defense attorneys for help. The attorneys could carefully review the evidence and do everything possible to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. For example, some alleged white-collar crimes are the result of honest mistakes rather than an indication of criminal intent. In such cases, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed. Even if the evidence appears solid, legal counsel could attempt to negotiate a plea deal that significantly reduces the charges, which could also lower the associated penalties.

Source: WMBF News, “NC woman arrested, charged with lying about hurricane damage“, Feb. 6, 2019