RALEIGH — Fifteen new special agents specializing in insurance fraud were sworn into the N.C. Department of Insurance last week. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey added the positions to double the number of team members in the department’s criminal investigations division. State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson swore in the new officers, who included a crime analyst, forensic accountant, attorneys and special agents.
“One of the first things I did when I took office was meet with our criminal investigations division,” said Causey. “I learned, because of the vast number of insurance fraud complaints in this state, we were shorthanded on the number of investigators to examine them.”
NCDOI estimates that the state government receives between 400-500 criminal insurance fraud complaints. In 2017, 334 people in the state were arrested for insurance-related violations — almost 60 percent more arrests than 2016. According to the department, those arrests resulted in the recovery of approximately $14.1 million.
Last year the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated $2.4 million to hire the additional agents, who spent the past week in NCDOI’s Special Agent Academy, training in the classroom and out in the field to learn the best methods for investigating insurance fraud.