RALEIGH — Two Lumberton men have been charged with insurance fraud, according to a statement from Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.
Ronnie Earl Locklear Jr., 35, of 301 Newgate St., and Michael Andrew Currie, 49, of 176 Nealy St., are each charged with insurance fraud, felony conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense, and felony conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense. Locklear is also charged with making a false report to a police station; Currie faces a charge of altering a vehicle’s serial number.
According to the state, Locklear and Currie in December 2010 staged the theft of Locklear’s truck, reported the vehicle stolen to the Lumberton Police Department and filed a claim with North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance. Farm Bureau paid $24,018 to Locklear to settle the claim.
The truck was recovered by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office on June 7, 2012, during a narcotics traffic stop in Fair Bluff, and an investigation that led to the charges was launched by the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division, North Carolina Department of Transportation License and Theft Bureau, the Lumberton Police Department, and the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.
Locklear and Currie were arrested on Friday and each was placed under a $50,000 unsecured bond and released.
According to Goodwin’s office, an estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, call the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.