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2 men accused of staging accidents for insurance money

Two men are accused of staging auto accidents in an alleged insurance fraud scheme in Mecklenburg County, authorities say.

Between 2012 and 2013, Eric Delano Smith and Robert Thomas White staged a series of automobile accidents and submitted claims to insurance companies that old, unrepaired damage on their cars was new damage, allege investigators from the N.C. Department of Insurance.

Sentry Insurance, Geico, State Farm Insurance and National General Insurance gave them $7,196.59, authorities said.

Police arrested Smith, 44, of Troutman on Aug. 20 and charged him with five counts of insurance fraud, four counts of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Smith was placed under a $10,000 bond.

White, 53, of Charlotte was charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense. Authorities are still seeking White, whose whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is encouraged to call the Department of Insurance at 919-807-6840.

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