RALEIGH — North CarolinaInsurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced that Torez Lavon Hughes, 49, of 5620 Novack St., Winston-Salem, was charged with insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense, both felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Hughes of submitting fraudulent invoices to Travelers Insurance to obtain reimbursements in a homeowners’ insurance claim.

The offenses occurred between Feb. 7 and May 13.

Hughes was served with a criminal summons on Nov. 25. He is due in Forsyth County District Court on Dec. 10.

Commissioner Causey estimates that fraud costs North Carolinians nearly 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums. 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 www.ncdoi.gov

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