Authorities in North Carolina have arrested eight residents and are in pursuit of two others allegedly involved in the execution of a string of staged auto accidents. Investigators believe the accused defrauded insurers such as Nationwide Mutual, State Farm Mutual, and others out of more than $40,000 before being apprehended.

Since announcing the arrests, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and the Department of Insurance have requested assistance from the public in locating the additional suspects: Tammy Haney, 31, for one count of insurance fraud, one count of obtaining property by false pretense, and one felony count of conspiracy; and Jocelin Anissa McAllister, 32, who is wanted for one count of felony conspiracy.

The remaining defendents, including Zakia Katrell Bobbitt, 30; Shaquana Jashel Burrough, 20; Tikara Denise Bynum, 23; Josalyn Jenice Cotten, 30; Teresa Celeste Mullen, 35; Lopez Dovol Mullen, 33; Catina Lashawn Williams, 38; and Robert Levelle Williams, 33, face a combination of those same charges.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that between January and November 2010, the suspects were operating a staged auto accident ring and were submitting false insurance claims to Nationwide Mutual, State Farm Mutual, Progressive Universal, and Liberty Mutual insurance companies. They gather that the suspects have received a total of $43,970 thus far, noting that an additional claim for an estimated $51,384 was denied.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) assisted the North Carolina Department of Insurance with the investigation of the alleged staged accident operation, and the Raleigh Police Fugitive Task Force assisted in the apprehension and arrest of the suspects.

For more information about the secured bond amounts and specific charges for each of the apprehended suspects, visit the NCDOI website

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Haney and/or McAllister is encouraged to contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3335 or the North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.