NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION

Help Line: (800) 688-8349, (919) 807-2501, or infospec@ic.nc.gov
Fraud and Insurance Compliance Hotline: (888) 891-4895 or fraudcomplaints@ic.nc.gov

Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification

NCIC Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division

NCIC Fraud Badge

Our Mission

The mission of the Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division is to serve the citizens of North Carolina by investigating potential criminal violations of the Workers’ Compensation Act and identifying and investigating businesses that engage in the activities of employee misclassification. The Division ensures compliance with the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Employee Fair Classification Act in a manner that fosters confidence and compliance with the law.

Criminal Investigations

Criminal Investigations operates as a law enforcement agency and is responsible for conducting criminal investigations into cases of suspected workers’ compensation fraud, employee misclassifcation, and violations related to workers’ compensation claims involving employees, employers, insurers, health care providers, attorneys, and vocational rehabilitation providers. Criminal Investigators investigate all criminal complaints filed with the Industrial Commission regarding failure of employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-94(d)), fraud on the part of employees with regard to the collection or obtaining of workers’ compensation benefits (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2), fraud on the part of employers with regard to payment or collection of workers’ compensation premiums from employees’ salaries (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-21), medical payment fraud, and any other claims arising out of violations of Chapter 97 by employees or employers. Criminal Investigations works with judicial officials and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state to resolve the above investigations in criminal court.

Criminal Investigations collaborates with the Employee Classification Section to proactively identify and investigate employee misclassification pursuant to N.C Gen. Stat. § 143-764(2)(3), thus helping ensure compliance with the Employee Fair Classification Act and applicable workers’ compensation statutes.

Employee Classification Section

Employer misclassification is defined as avoiding tax liabilities and other obligations imposed by Chapter 95, 96, 97, 105, or 143 of the North Carolina General Statutes by misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

The Employee Classification Section receives reports of employee misclassification and is responsible under the Employee Fair Classification Act for investigating these misclassification reports and coordinating with and assisting all relevant state agencies in recovering any back taxes, wages, benefits, penalties, or other monies owed as a result of an employer engaging in employee misclassification.

The Employee Classification Section’s statutory mandate also includes providing all relevant information pertaining to each instance of reported employee misclassification to the North Carolina Department of Labor, the Division of Employment Security within the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the North Carolina Industrial Commission to facilitate investigation of potential violations of Chapters 95, 96, 97, 105, or 143 of the North Carolina General Statutes.

Reporting Fraud or Employee Misclassification

If you suspect fraud or employee misclassification that meets one of the above criteria, submit a complaint utilizing one of the following methods:

  • E-mail at fraudcomplaints@ic.nc.gov,
  • Call 1-888-891-4895 (in North Carolina),
  • Fax: 919-508-8300 (Send to ATTENTION CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS & EMPLOYEE CLASSIFICATION DIVISON), or
  • Mail the information to the Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division at:
    1233 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1233
  • You may report misclassification anonymously by clicking here. This page does not collect any personal or location information -- your submission is completely confidential. The records of the Employee Classification Section are not public records in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-766(a).

Whether you submit the complaint via e-mail, U.S. Mail, or call the fraud hotline, we will ask you to confidentially provide all of the information you have pertaining to the suspected fraud, including the following:

Complaint Checklist

Employee/Claimant Fraud

Please provide as much of the following information as possible in matters that may involve fraud perpetrated by a claimant:

  • Name and address of the person you suspect is committing fraud.
  • Details about the improper or fraudulent activity you suspect such as: exceeding physical limitations, working while receiving benefits, malingering, reporting false claims, or a staged accident in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2.
  • Type of injury and date of injury (if known).
  • Name of employer at the time the injury was sustained (if known).
  • Documentation that supports your complaint such as: videos, photographs, payroll records, additional witnesses, falsified documents, activity level with a vivid description of activity. (Please indicate if you have this documentation.)
  • Name of employer or, if self-employed, business location, and contact information.
  • Other general information pertaining to the suspected fraudulent activity.
  • Your relationship or involvement with the suspected person(s).
  • Other agencies this incident has been reported to.

Employer Fraud

If the target is an employer, the complainant should provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • Name and address of company or business.
  • Relationship to business owner or company if any (employee, former employee, partner, etc.)
  • Details about the improper or fraudulent activity you suspect, such as employer fails to secure workers’ compensation insurance in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-94, employer deducts workers’ compensation premiums for employees’ wages in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-21, employer threatens employee prosecution for purpose of coercing or attempting to coerce the employee into agreeing to compensation or forgo compensation in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2.
  • Documentation that supports your compliant such as copies of records, additional witnesses, copies of billing statements, copies of payment records.
  • Other general information pertaining to the suspected fraudulent activit; and
  • Other agencies this incident has been reported to.

Employee Misclassification

Reporting Checklist:

Please provide as much of the following information as possible when reporting potential claims for employee misclassification:

  • Name and address of business and/or individual you suspect is committing misclassification;
  • Nature of work/activities being performed by worker;
  • Relationship of reporting party to the business, if any (employee, former employee, partner, competitor, etc.);
  • Details about employer relationship with workers, including but not limited to: employer establishes the activities that constitute the daily work requirements for workers, employer provides direction on how to complete specific working tasks, or employer provides equipment for workers to complete assignments/tasks;
  • Documentation that supports the claim for misclassification, including but not limited to: tax documentation, copies of payment records, employment offer letter, or documentation pertaining to agreement for contracted services;
  • The number of additional workers performing the same and/or similar duties;
  • Additional information pertaining to suspected misclassification activity; and
  • Other agencies, if any, to which this information has been reported.

Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division Contacts

The Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division consists of a Division Chief, five (5) Criminal Investigators, two (2) Investigative Assistants and a Director of the Employee Classification Section. The telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for the Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division:

Title Name E-mail Phone Fax
Division Chief Samuel Constance sam.constance@ic.nc.gov (919) 716-1736 (919) 508-8301
Fraud Investigator Joe Lynch joe.lynch@ic.nc.gov (919) 810-5782 (919) 508-8303
Fraud Investigator Chase L. Foss chase.foss@ic.nc.gov (828) 234-8733 (919) 508-8304
Fraud Investigator Gerald Stephens gerald.stephens@ic.nc.gov (336) 212-9669 (919) 508-8305
Fraud Investigator Stig Larson stig.larson@ic.nc.gov (910) 709-0053 (919) 508-8306
Fraud Investigator Lindsey A. Tote lindsey.tote@ic.nc.gov (919) 610-8263 (919) 508-8250
Investigative Assistant Catherine Ittermann catherine.ittermann@ic.nc.gov (919) 716-1701 (919) 508-8300
Director-Employee Classification Section Bradley L. Hicks bradley.hicks@ic.nc.gov (919) 716-1733 (919) 715-0282

COMPLAINTS

Workers’ Compensation Fraud

If you have information regarding workers’ compensation fraud or questions about it, please feel free to contact the Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M at: (888) 891-4895 (in North Carolina) or by FAX at: (919) 508-8300. Or you can e-mail us anytime at: fraudcomplaints@ic.nc.gov.

Employee Misclassification

If you have information regarding employee misclassification or questions about it, please feel free to contact the Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M at: (919) 716-1733 or by FAX at: (919) 715-0282. Or you can e-mail us anytime at: emp.classification@ic.nc.gov.

Fraud News

The following news articles or documents highlight various aspects of workers' compensation fraud. You will find updates to the Fraud Section and news items related to workers' compensation fraud.

Industrial Commission Focuses on Combating Fraud and Noncompliance: Over 600 Charges Issued and Over $8 Million in Penalties Collected

The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division is continuing to proactively identify businesses out of compliance with the Workers’ Compensation Act at an unprecedented rate. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Workers’ compensation fraud case uncovered in Craven County

Kimberly Ann Sutton has been charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of workers’ compensation fraud in Craven County. Please click here for more information.
 

Combating Fraud and Noncompliance: Over $5.1 Million in Penalties Collected at End of Third Quarter

The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division continues to proactively identify businesses not complying with the Workers’ Compensation Act at an unprecedented rate. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Industrial Commission Workers’ Compensation Fraud Investigation Leads to Arrest

A Randolph County woman was arrested for felony and misdemeanor charges in a workers’ compensation fraud investigation. The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Fraud Investigative Division charged the suspect with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses and one misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud. Please click here to read the full news release.
 

Fiscal Year 2016-17 Update

The North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division is continuing to proactively identify businesses that do not comply with the Workers’ Compensation Act at an unprecedented rate. For Fiscal Year 2016-2017, the Compliance Unit collected over $1.7 million in penalties for noncompliance, and the Fraud Investigative Unit issued 412 total charges for suspected violations of the Workers’ Compensation Act. Please click here to read the related news release.
 

History & Authority

The 1994 Session of the N.C. General Assembly enacted what has been entitled the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 1994. As part of that Act, the General Assembly enacted two statutes that apply to workers’ compensation fraud. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2 is entitled Penalty for Misrepresentation, and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.3 is entitled Penalty for Health Care Providers.

In 1995, the General Assembly amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2 and gave the N.C. Industrial Commission the responsibility for investigating cases of suspected fraud and violations of the Workers’ Compensation Act. During its 1997 Session, the General Assembly ratified House Bill 618: An Act to Increase the Criminal Penalties for Misrepresentation and for Failure to Secure Compensation Under the Workers’ Compensation Act. This bill amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2 and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-94.

In 2007, the General Assembly ratified Senate Bill 882: An Act to Authorize the Industrial Commission to employ Sworn Law Enforcement Officers to perform Fraud Investigations. This bill amended N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-88.2(b).