Mother-son duo frame deer, animals in $10,000 insurance fraud scam, NC officials say

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Deer crossing signs take on extra meaning this time of year, the peak for deer-vehicle collisions in North Carolina. This sign is on Whitfield Road near the intersection with Erwin Road in Orange County.

A mother and son in North Carolina are accused of scamming an insurance company out of more than $10,000 by lying about crashes involving wildlife, according to state officials.

Martha Jeffries Inman, 68, lied to her insurance company when she said “her car and truck had been struck multiple times by deer and other animals,” the North Carolina Department of Insurance said Thursday in a news release. Her son, 43-year-old Cecil Dwayne Roberson, is accused of submitting a false statement in support of her insurance claim.

Inman received $10,635 from Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. as a result, investigators said.

According to the release, the alleged insurance fraud occurred between Oct. 15, 2019 and Jan. 10, 2021. It wasn’t immediately clear on Monday how many fraudulent claims were submitted, what other animals were said to have hit the vehicles or how investigators determined the claims were fraudulent.

A representative with the state Department of Insurance did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment Monday.

Inman and Roberson are charged with insurance fraud, investigators said. Inman, who was served with a criminal summons Aug. 18, was also charged with obtaining property by false pretenses.

Robinson faces additional charges of aiding and abetting and was arrested Aug. 19.

According to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, insurance fraud can cost customers “$120 billion a year in increased premiums.”

“The Department of Insurance has reinforced its criminal investigations procedures and personnel in an effort to make more arrests to keep fraud from driving up insurance costs,” Causey said.

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