Special agents accuse Candler woman of false pretense, bail bond violations


North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Estonia Lace Howerton, 34, of 19 Pathway Lane, Candler. Howerton is charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense, three misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of power of attorney, and one misdemeanor count of failing to file an affidavit for a bond.

Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Howerton of receiving a $600 payment to secure the release of an inmate in Graham County. She is also accused of preparing bond affidavits under another name to secure the release of inmates in Swain County.

According to the arrest warrants, the offenses occurred between Aug. 21, 2017, and Dec. 1, 2018.

Howerton was arrested on Dec. 28, 2018, in Buncombe county and released on a written promise to appear in court.

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/fraud-control.


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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.