Woman accused of falsely claiming car damage from crash with deer

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Deer (Photo: Pixabay)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County woman is accused of falsely claiming car damage from crash involving a deer, the state said Thursday.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced the arrest of Maxine Bracey Smith, 51, of Hallsboro.

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Smith was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, both felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Smith of trying to receive payment from an auto insurance claim with Peak Property and Casualty Insurance Co. by falsely stating that damage happened to her 2017 Hyundai Sonata when the car hit a deer on Sept. 23.

According to the arrest warrant, the damage to the auto occurred on the morning of Aug. 30 when the vehicle had no insurance coverage. She added insurance coverage to the auto later in the day, according to the warrant.



Smith was arrested on Dec. 9 and released under a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Commissioner Causey estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums.

“Insurance fraud affects our economy,” Causey said. “Not only does it damage insurance companies, it cheats businesses and consumers too. This kind of white-collar crime is unacceptable. That’s why I’ve doubled the number of Special Agents to investigate insurance fraud. Cracking down on fraud will put more money in the pockets of businesses and consumers.”

To report suspected fraud, contact the NC Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.