Wilson County auto dealer charged with insurance fraud, false pretense

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Alphonso Ray Murray, 54, of 795 Black River Lane, Harrells. Murray was charged with insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of car title application fraud, all felonies.

Murray is the owner of Murray’s Auto World in Wilson.

Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Murray of receiving $4,306.07 by submitting a letter to Allstate Insurance claiming to be the lienholder of a 2008 Jeep Patriot that was titled under the name of a person whose identity was stolen. The letter and title paperwork were submitted after the automobile was involved in a crash.

According to the arrest warrant, Murray submitted a forged signature on the automobile’s title to the DMV.

The offenses occurred on Sept. 6, 2022, and Oct. 24, 2022.

Murray was arrested on May 8. He was released on $5,000 unsecured bond.

Two others, Julius Darnell Kelly, 50, and Virginia, Jones Maddox, 57, both of Wilson, were also previously charged in this investigation.

Department of Insurance special agents worked with The Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau, the Wilson Police Department, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Eighth Prosecutorial District Office in a yearlong investigation. 

Commissioner Causey encourages North Carolinians to help keep insurance premiums low by reporting suspicious fraud.

“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” Commissioner Causey said. “It hits all of us in the pocket through higher premiums.”

If you suspect insurance fraud or other white-collar crimes, please report it. You may anonymously report fraud by calling the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840 or toll free from anywhere in North Carolina at 888-680-7684. 

Information is also available at www.ncdoi.gov.

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