Local News

Former Raleigh insurance agent charged with fraud

Posted August 4, 2008 12:59 p.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2008 9:20 p.m. EDT

— A former Raleigh insurance agent was arrested Monday on charges that she allegedly pocketed money from false workers' compensation policies.

Mary Grantham Hicks, also known as Mary Linda Hicks, owner of Swift Creek Insurance and Realty, 7985 Fayetteville Road, was charged with one count of embezzlement and one count of obtaining property under false pretenses. Further charges are pending.

Chrissy Pearson, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Department of Insurance, said Hicks falsified certificates of workers' compensation insurance to area commercial contracting groups.

"Basically, we believe that some construction companies came in to purchase workers' compensation insurance," Pearson said. "She took their money, told them they had insurance, but in reality, she pocketed the money, and they don't have insurance."

In at least one case, Hicks allegedly took payment from a client but failed to remit that payment to the insurance company, Pearson said.

That company notified the Department of Insurance after two employees were injured and were not covered.

Hicks, 58, of 7608 Blaney Franks Road, surrendered her insurance license to the Insurance Commission last year, but continued to own and operate the agency and employed at least one other licensed agent, Pearson said.

Investigators believe she continued to sell the policies to local commercial construction contractors and subcontractors. They also allege that she conspired with subcontractors to provide false documents to general contractors in order for the subcontractors to secure jobs.

Department examiners began an audit of the agency immediately after a search Monday by investigators.

Clients can call 800-546-5664 to check the validity and coverage of their insurance policies.