North Carolina Insurance Agent Arrested on Alleged Fraud Charges

October 26, 2006

A Matthews, N.C. licensed insurance agent was arrested and charged with nine felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense and is under a $50,000 secured bond at the Union County Jail.

According to Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, Shawn Robert Blankenship, 36, of 5002 Soleado Drive in Matthews, was a licensed insurance agent as recently as May.

Department investigators allege that Blankenship illegally transferred approximately $220,000 from the variable annuity accounts of five clients to his own personal account. Department of Insurance officials first received a tip about Blankenship’s alleged illegal activities earlier this year.

Department investigators followed up with a criminal investigation which culminated in Blankenship’s arrest on Wednesday. A court date has been set for Dec. 6.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers responsible for investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2005, these investigators saw 90 cases successfully closed with more than $25.8 million recovered in restitution and 52 guilty convictions.

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


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