Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 00:00

Pinetops man charged with insurance fraud

Nov 12, 2020

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Orlando Otis Wonson, 48, of 5419 Highway 43 North, Pinetops. Wonson was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, both felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Wonson of trying to obtain an automobile insurance claim payment from Permanent General Assurance Corp. by claiming his 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche was damaged in a hailstorm in Alexandria, Va., on April 13.  Agents discovered the vehicle had actually been sitting in a Rocky Mount lot with the transmission and drive shaft out since Oct. 28, 2019.

The offenses occurred between April 13 and Nov. 6.

Wonson was arrested on Nov. 6. He was given a $10,000 unsecured bond.

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



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