North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has organized a Criminal Investigations Reserve Unit to combat the extensive number of insurance fraud cases in the state. Four veteran law enforcement personnel, were sworn-in Thursday as inductees at a ceremony in Raleigh last week.
“Today’s ceremony is a testament to the character of these men and women who are donating their time to fight fraud – a top priority of mine,” said Causey. “Fraud costs about 18 cents of every dollar we pay for insurance premiums. With their help – with each arrest – we can save consumers’ money.”
The four inductees law enforcement backgrounds include:
- Tom Andersonis a 27-year law enforcement veteran who started his career as a patrol officer with the Statesville Police Department and rose through the ranks to become the chief of police from 2008 until 2015. Anderson served in multiple law enforcement assignments that included patrol operations, criminal investigations-internal affairs, special operations and community services. In 2015, Anderson began serving in a newly created position as public safety risk manager with the N.C. League of Municipalities.
- Lauren Burchis a 13-year veteran of law enforcement from Carteret County and a former Alcohol Law Enforcement agent. She holds several certifications including an Advanced Law Enforcement certificate. She has served on numerous task forces including the IRS money laundering task force.
- Robert A. Graves has 39 years of experience in law enforcement. After retiring as lieutenant in the State Highway Patrol, he continued to serve as a reserve deputy with the Randolph County Sheriff’s office to ultimately become the Randolph County sheriff.
- Robert “Banzai” W. McLaughlin Jr.has 26 years of both law enforcement and public safety experience. He gained extensive SWAT, fire and EMT experience while serving with both the Durham Fire Department as arson investigator and the Durham Police Department as a lieutenant. After leaving Durham, he worked for N.C. Central University Police as the emergency management coordinator and tactical trainer.
They join the force of 40 full-time agents serving North Carolinians across the state. According to NCDOI the number of fraud arrests have more than doubled since Causey took office. In 2016, the Criminal Investigations Division made arrests in 57 of the 100 North Carolina counties; in 2018, those arrests increased to 93 of the state’s 100 counties.
NCDOI’s criminal investigators are sworn, state law enforcement officers authorized to carry firearms, make arrests, conduct searches and present cases at all levels of prosecution. They work in cooperation with the insurance industry, state and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. They investigate crimes involving insurance fraud, and criminal violations that deal with bail bonding.
Source: North Carolina Department of Insurance
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