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Wilmington woman charged with insurance fraud after faking toilet overflow

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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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