March 2, 2021

Two men from Hyde County charged after insurance fraud investigation

Two men from Hyde County have been arrested on felony charges of allegedly committing insurance…

Two men from Hyde County have been arrested on felony charges of allegedly committing insurance fraud, after reporting a pick-up truck was stolen after it was found in the Pamlico Sound.

N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey announced Friday the arrest of Jahle Lamont Gibbs, 32, and Benjamin Edward Poe, 29, both from Engelhard. Gibbs was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Poe was charged with conspiracy and aiding and abetting Gibbs.

According to the arrest warrant, Gibbs told Sentry Insurance that his Ford F-350 truck was stolen when it was found under water at the Engelhard Wildlife Boat Ramp and Access Area. Poe supported Gibbs’ fictitious claim in an attempt to obtain $12,458.48 from the insurance company, according to the warrants.

The offenses occurred between Aug. 30, 2020, and Feb. 22, 2021.

Special agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division, along with Hyde County deputies, arrested the two men on Feb. 22. They were released on $5,000 unsecured bond and are due in Hyde County District Court on March 30.

“Insurance fraud hurts consumers; it costs North Carolina consumers nearly 20 cents on every dollar they pay in insurance premiums,” Commissioner Causey said. “That’s why I’ve more than doubled the number of special agents to crack down on fraud and other types of white-collar crime.”

Over the past three years, CID Special Agents recovered nearly $12 million used in fraudulent activities. That money has been 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.