North Carolina’s insurance commissioner is cracking down on fraud. His efforts include doubling the number of special agents that investigate it and encouraging citizens to report possible instances to his department by phone. He claims that for every dollar North Carolinians pay for insurance premiums, cases of fraud cost an extra 15 to 20 cents.

One of the cases that appear to have roused the commissioner’s ire is that of a 47-year-old woman in Morganton. She allegedly provided a fake invoice to an insurance company as part of a claim. To make the arrest, Burke County law enforcement joined forces with Department of Insurance special agents.

The woman appears to have had a legitimate claim of damage to a fence by a car. However, she allegedly attempted to gain a settlement of $980 by filing a fake invoice. She now faces charges of attempting to obtain property by false pretense in addition to insurance fraud.

Following a written promise to appear in court, authorities released the woman. There has been no announcement of her court date.

It is not clear what penalties the woman may face if convicted. They may include fines, prison time or both. However, due to the insurance commissioner’s strong stance, the consequences could be severe.

People in North Carolina facing charges of insurance fraud may wish to contact an attorney with experience in defending people in a similar situation. The same holds true of charges for other white-collar offenses, such as money laundering or embezzlement, that can result in a felony criminal record.