North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Kenneth Lawson Reynolds, 40, of 315 Scranton Court, Richlands. Reynolds is charged with fraudulently burning a dwelling, insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense, all felonies.
Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Reynolds of telling United Services Automobile Association that he did not know how a fire at 182 Angel Haven Lane, Richlands, occurred when he intentionally started the fire to damage the residence.
According to the arrest warrant, Reynolds received $165,600.31 from USAA to pay for a 70-night hotel stay and to pay off the mortgage on the residence.
A State Highway Patrol trooper arrested Reynolds during a traffic stop on May 2. He was given a $125,000 secured bond.
“Insurance fraud hurts consumers; it costs North Carolina consumers nearly 20 cents on every dollar they pay in insurance premiums,” Commissioner Causey said. “That’s why I’ve more than doubled the number of special agents to crack down on fraud and other types of white-collar crime.”
Over the past three years, CID Special Agents recovered nearly $12 million used in fraudulent activities. That money has been returned to consumers and insurance companies. The restitution also helps preserve insurance rates.
To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.