Wilmington woman charged with insurance fraud after faking toilet overflow

RALEIGH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Stephanie Jean Holanek, 40, of 118 Trombay Drive, Wilmington; she is charged with four counts of insurance fraud, three counts of obtaining property by false pretense, and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Sept. 26, 2009, Holanek fraudulently reported a water damage claim to her insurance company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, as a result of a toilet overflowing on the main level of her residence. Investigators allege that Holanek received $27,430 for expenses filed as part of the fraudulent claim and attempted to collect an additional $9,321 based on other fraudulent expenses.

Holanek was arrested on Oct. 20 by the Wilmington Police Department and placed under a $12,500 unsecured bond.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2008, criminal investigators have received more than 11,500 complaints, resulting in 550 arrests, 300 criminal convictions, and more than 115 cases currently pending a court appearance. These arrests have resulted in more than $47.6 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.

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.

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Last Week-end.

Furniture was all out in the front yard.

How happy her neighbors must be that she and her mean dog are GONE!

...she's No. 1 in the No. 2 business! I'd say she's in some pretty deep doodie (no pun intended)!

This woman is a piece of work. My daughter worked for her at Hidden Treasures Consignment Shop in Wilmington. For a month my daughter worked while this woman was supposedly in Virginia visiting her mother. She was never paid for this work which a claim was filed, investigated and substantiated with the NC Labor Board. She was also cited for violations of NCGS 95-25 sections 6 & 7. A small claim was filed in small claims court and unfortunately the NHC deputies could never find her to serve the summons. At the hearing on September 29th the magistrate informed us to become good detectives and when we could come up with a good address for her then come back and pay another $30.00 for the deputies to try to serve her again. What a joke! Evidently the Insurance Commissioner was a "good detective." A months work to someone trying to make ends meet can be devastating in this economy.

With all the offices here why wasn't an estimator sent to the house when the claim was called in? No wonder they have so much fraud if you can just call and say you have damage w/o anyone from the company seeing it. Stupid really.

an adjuster did not go to the scene after the incident was reported?

I am assuming they didnt. If they did they would have seen no damage. How else would it be fraud?

but the issue was not that there was no damage. There was.

The issue was the follow up investigation, which can take time, revealed the cause of loss, toilet overflow, was self inflicted. Meaning she did it with the intent to collect for damages she caused.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, policy terms and North Carolina statutes limit the amount of time the Insurance Company has to make the initial investigation and write a check or deny the claim. IN this case, with the clock ticking the Carrier wrote the check and did some follow up investigation which led to the DOI being called in for assistance.

I wonder how they figured out she did it herself? I guess more info would be good. I have had toilets over flow and was able to get the water up with a lot of towels and cleaning. Of course I was present. Weird that the repairs cost so much as well.

all of the damage amount was for building damages. And you will not see much on here or in any media until this goes to trial or she cuts a deal.