North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced that two Charlotte men have been accused of staging a wreck involving a U-Haul truck in an attempt to collect on an insurance claim.
Darrius Donte Barber, 27, of 310 W. 28th St., Charlotte, and Reginald Alexander Murray Jr., 40, of 11238 Joe Morrison Lane, Charlotte, were both charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, all felonies.
Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse the two of staging the Sept. 23, 2019, collision in Charlotte.
According to a police report, Barber, driving the U-Haul truck, told police that he swerved into the opposite lane when he bent down to pick up his dropped cell phone and struck Murray’s 2018 Lexus.
Both defendants initially told U-Haul’s insurance company, Repwest Insurance Co., that they didn’t know each other. However, Barber later admitted that he knew Murray and that the collision was planned, according to the criminal summons.
Barber was served with a criminal summons on Jan. 26. He is due in Mecklenburg County District Court on April 26. Murray was served with a criminal summons on Jan. 29. He is due in Mecklenburg County District Court on June 29.
“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.