North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Reina Esmeralda Foster, 43, of 103 Woods Mill Road, Goldsboro. Foster was charged with 10 counts of insurance fraud and 10 counts of attempting to obtain property by false pretense, all felonies.
Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Foster of filing fraudulent insurance claims with Lighthouse, State Farm and Homesite Insurance Companies in an attempt to obtain $90,086.57 in homeowners’ insurance payments.
According to arrest warrants, Foster:
- Falsely claimed that a barbecue grill, power generator, television sets, laptops, speakers, power washer, saw and lawn mower were stolen from her property.
- Falsely claimed that vandalism caused damage to her air conditioning unit when the damage came from normal wear and tear.
- Falsely claimed that a power surge caused damage to her appliances and caused a carbon monoxide leak, causing her family to evacuate the residence.
- Falsely claimed that a sewage backup damaged flooring in her home.
- Falsely claimed that a laptop was damaged while she was out of town.
The offenses occurred between Feb. 11, 2019, and Feb. 17, 2020.
Foster was arrested on Nov. 2 and given a $10,000 secured bond. She is due in Wayne County District Court on Nov. 19.
Commissioner Causey estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums, maybe more. That’s why he has cracked down on this white-collar crime by boosting the NCDOI Criminal Investigations Division.
Over the past two years, CID Special Agents recovered $7.5 million in damages – money that was 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.