Angier insurance agent linked to illegal auto title scheme
Posted February 7, 2012
Lillington, N.C. — A Harnett County insurance agent faces hundreds of charges in what state officials say was a scheme to issue bogus vehicle titles to Latinos.
Dalia Soto Urbina, 42, of 35 Good Circle in Fuquay-Varina, was arrested Friday, and the state Department of Insurance has put her license under review.
The Division of Motor Vehicles charged Urbina with 381 counts each of felony title fraud, criminal conspiracy and misdemeanor violations of motor vehicle provisions, as well as two counts each of forgery and notary fraud.
State investigators say customers who didn't have a current identification or insurance, usually Latinos, would pay Urbina $150 to illegally notarize their vehicle paperwork. She would then take the documents to the Lillington License Plate Agency, where she paid two employees to process the vehicle titles.
Last week, the DMV closed the private office, which operated under a state contract to handle vehicle registration, title transactions and other services. Two employees were charged in the scheme.
Lynetta Greene, 35, of 170 Woodbridge Drive in Spring Lake, was charged with 260 counts each of felony title fraud, felony accessing a government computer to defraud and misdemeanor registration fraud. Janet Faye McLean, 57, of 1003 S. Second St. in Lillington, was charged with 113 counts each on the same charges.
Investigators said Urbina paid the women about $5,200 total over the past year to process the titles.
McLean was presented with a key to Lillington in 2007 for her years of DMV work, and people in town were stunned by the criminal charges against her.
"Any kind of plate work that you had to have done, you always dealt with Janet," neighbor Mike West said, adding that she always operated by the book.
"If there was ever an issue with a plate, it would automatically get sent back to you," West said. "She would send you away until everything was correct – all the i's were dotted and the t's were crossed – and then you would have to come back. It didn't matter how long she knew you, she was not going to make any kind of exception."
The DOI also charged Urbina with 25 counts of obtaining property by false pretense, alleging that she took payments from customers without insuring their vehicles. Investigators also say that she wasn't authorized to write insurance for the companies for which she claimed to provide binders.
Urbina's Angier agency, J & D Insurance, was closed Tuesday, and she couldn't be reached for comment.
She advertises that she is an agent for Progressive insurance, but a company spokesman declined to comment on her case.
"Progressive takes fraud seriously and fights fraud to keep costs down for our customers. We will take the necessary steps to make sure any of our customers' policies affected by this are handled appropriately," Jeff Sibel said in a statement.
but representatives of that company didn't respond to phone calls or emails seeking comment.