Local News

Ten suspected of staging wrecks to make insurance claims

Posted October 6, 2011 4:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2011 6:53 p.m. EDT

— Ten people face charges in what Wake County prosecutors are calling a fraud ring in which the suspects tried to file $96,000 in claims from several insurance companies.

Investigators say the group staged three wrecks between January 2010 and November 2010 and received $43,970 in claims as a result. Another $51,384 in claims was denied.

Eight people were arrested Wednesday, one person surrendered to authorities Thursday, and investigators are searching for a 10th person.

Those charged, include Lopez Dovol Mullen, 33, of 1912-D Tischer Road, Raleigh, whom prosecutors say is the ringleader of the alleged scheme.

Investigators say Mullen was the ringleader of the fraud scam. He received insurance checks amounting to more than $7,800 from insurance companies, according to arrest warrants.

Mullen is charged with five counts of insurance fraud, four counts of obtaining property by false pretense, three counts of felony conspiracy and one count each of identity theft and attempting to obtain property under false pretenses.

He is in the Wake County jail under $140,000 bond.

Others charged include:

  • Zakia Katrell Bobbitt, 30, 804-102 McMakin St., Raleigh, on one count insurance fraud, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $30,000 bond.
  • Shaquana Jashel Burrough, 20, of 45 Harvest Lane, Louisburg, on one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $20,000 bond.
  • Tikara Denise Bynum, 23, of 2504 Evers Drive, Raleigh, on one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $20,000 bond.
  • Josalyn Jenice Cotten, 30, of 1300-C S. Bloodworth St., Raleigh, on two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $50,000 bond.
  • Jocelin Anissa McAllister, 32, of 5375-D Wayne St., Raleigh, on for one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $4,000 bond.
  • Teresa Celeste Mullen, 35, of 8834 Orchard Grove Way, Raleigh, on one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. Mullen was out of jail on bond Thursday afternoon.
  • Catina Lashawn Williams, 38, of 2311 Sonora St., Raleigh, on two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy. She was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under a $50,000 bond.
  • Robert Levelle Williams, 33, of 2416 Evers Drive, Raleigh, on three counts of insurance fraud, three counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of felony conspiracy. He was in the Wake County jail Thursday afternoon under an $80,500 bond.

Investigators are still searching for Tammy Haney, 31, who is wanted for one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of felony conspiracy.

Anyone with information about Haney's whereabouts is asked to contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335 or the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.