Special agents file insurance fraud charges against Trinity man

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Justin Ryan Pendland, 32, of 5660 Merle Drive, Trinity. Pendland was charged by special agents with the N.C. Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division with felony insurance fraud and felony attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

According to warrants, Pendland provided a false and misleading statement to Peak Property and Casualty Insurance Corp., claiming that he was driving his 2004 Buick LeSabre when it struck a deer on Oct. 3, 2017. The warrants say the car was damaged on Sept. 29, 2017, when Pendland fell asleep at the wheel and the car veered off the road.

The warrant also says Pendland added collision coverage to the vehicle after the crash on Sept. 29, 2017, in attempt to obtain $3,199 in insurance benefits from the false claims.

Pendland was arrested on May 18 in Guilford County and placed under a $2,500 unsecured bond

Insurance fraud costs American consumers approximately $80 billion dollars a year. According to Commissioner Causey, fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents of every dollar paid on insurance premiums — and it’s getting worse.

“I am determined to stem the tide of insurance fraud in this state in order to save residents money,” said Commissioner Causey. “That’s why I am dedicated to the mission of our NCDOI law enforcement officers who investigate and prosecute claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud.”

To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigation 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.