Insurance agent charged with embezzlement

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

RALEIGH — It appears that an insurance agent, who rented vacation homes on Lake Gaston, has illegally pocketed money.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced Thursday the arrest of Robin Michelle Crabel, 46, of 28 Walnut Hill Drive, Ebony, VA. She was charged with one felony count each of embezzlement by an insurance agent and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between May 2010 and December 2012, Crabel collected $24,000 of property rental insurance premiums and kept the money for her own personal use. The funds were collected from customers who rented vacation homes on Lake Gaston using Crabel’s rental property company, Lake Gaston Associates.

Investigators allege that Crabel kept the funds from more than 270 policies that should have been remitted to Travel Guard Insurance Company.

There is no indication that any of the renters sustained a loss as a result of Crabel’s alleged actions; however, investigators suspect that additional policies may have been impacted by this case.

Crabel was arrested with the assistance of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 18 and placed under a $5,000 bond.

If you suspect that you were a victim of this type of insurance fraud, you are encouraged to contact the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud.

Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have made more than 800 arrests, resulting in more than 430 criminal convictions. These efforts have delivered more than $55 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.