RALEIGH, NC (NCDOI) — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Lakeia C. Freeman, 28, of 136 Parsley St., Leland; she is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.
Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that in March 2011, Freeman reported to Allstate Insurance Company that she had unintentionally backed her boyfriend’s 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe into her 2002 Acura, causing damage in excess of $5,000. Freeman received an insurance payment of $3,800 from Allstate Insurance.
Upon further investigation, Allstate investigators and Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that the accident did not take place as reported and occurred in a different location than where Freeman reportedly had the accident. The Tahoe’s owner told investigators that Freeman could not have been driving the Tahoe since it was in the state of Georgia during the reported date and time of the accident. In addition, the Tahoe has no damage from the alleged accident while the 2002 Acura was deemed a total loss.
Freeman was arrested on July 30 in Brunswick County and placed under a $10,000 secured bond. The Sheriff's Office says she bonded out a short time later.
The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2010, these criminal investigators successfully closed 402 cases and made 126 arrests, leading to 88 criminal convictions. These resulted in more than $21.1 million in restitution and recoveries—more than double the dollar amount from the previous year and a record for NCDOI.
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.