Alleged insurance fraud leads to arrest

Published 6:37 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

Edward Freeman

Edward Freeman


BELHAVEN — A Belhaven man was arrested by agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation on charges of insurance fraud last week. According to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Edward Freeman, 41, of 642 Edward Street, Belhaven, was charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

Freeman allegedly insured the same vehicle with two different insurance companies and filed multiple claims with each company for damage from the same accident, said a press release from North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. Goodwin said Direct Auto Insurance and Progressive Insurance paid Freeman more than $8,600 to settle the claims.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers who investigate and prosecute claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud, said the release. Since Goodwin took office in 2009, NCDOI claim criminal investigators have made more than 800 arrests, resulting in 430 criminal convictions and more than $55 million in restitution and recoveries for victims. An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims, according to the release.

Freeman was arrested in Beaufort County on Nov. 20 and placed under a $5,000 unsecured bond at the Beaufort County Detention Center.

To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous.