Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that on Dec. 20, 2010, Waln filed a false claim with Ashe County Farm Bureau Insurance that someone hit and damaged her vehicle while it was in a grocery store parking lot in West Jefferson. As a result, North Carolina Farm Bureau paid her $848.88. Investigators allege that the damage described in the claim had actually been caused in a prior incident, and that Waln forged the name of an auto body shop owner on the insurance check without ever getting the vehicle repaired.
Waln was arrested on March 2 in Ashe County and placed under a $2,500 secured bond.
The Department of Insurance employs 21 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2010, these criminal investigators successfully closed 402 cases and made 126 arrests, leading to 88 criminal convictions. These resulted in more than $21.1 million in restitution and recoveries—more than double the dollar amount from the previous year and a record for NCDOI.
An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.