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 The former Statesville Police Department chief is one of the four law enforcement officers in the first North Carolina Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Reserve Unit.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey organized the unit to combat the extensive number of fraud cases in the state.

Tom Anderson was one of four veteran law enforcement officers sworn in Thursday at a ceremony at the Albemarle Building in Raleigh.

Anderson, now a volunteer special agent with the Department of Insurance , is a 27-year law enforcement veteran who started his career as a patrol officer with the Statesville police. He became chief in 2008 and served in that capacity until he left to become the public safety risk manager with the North Carolina League of Municipalities. He is now director of risk control for the league of municipalities. 

“Today’s ceremony is a testament to the character of these men and women who are donating their time to fight fraud – a top priority of mine,” said Causey. “Fraud costs about 18 cents of every dollar we pay for insurance premiums.  With their help -- with each arrest -- we can save consumers’ money.” 

Anderson joins a former sheriff and retired state trooper, a money laundering expert and Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) officer, and an arson investigator and SWAT, fire and emergency management expert on the unit.

The others on the unit include: Special Agent Lauren Burch is a 13-year veteran of law enforcement from Carteret County and a former Alcohol Law Enforcement agent. She holds several certifications including an Advanced Law Enforcement certificate. She has served on numerous task forces including the IRS money laundering task force.  

Special Agent Robert A. Graves has 39 years of experience in law enforcement. 

After retiring as lieutenant in the State Highway Patrol, he continued to serve as a reserve deputy with the Randolph County Sheriff’s office to ultimately become the Randolph County sheriff. Special Agent Robert “Banzai” W. McLaughlin Jr. has 26 years of both law enforcement and public safety experience. He gained extensive SWAT, fire and EMT experience while serving with both the Durham Fire Department as arson investigator and the Durham Police Department as a lieutenant. After leaving Durham, he worked for N.C. Central University Police as the emergency management coordinator and tactical trainer. 

Thursday’s four inductees understand how pervasive fraud is across North Carolina, Causey said.  

They join the force of 40 full-time agents serving North Carolinians across the state. In 2016, the Criminal Investigations Division made arrests in 57 of the 100 North Carolina counties; in 2018, those arrests increased to 93 of the state’s 100 counties.  

NCDOI’s criminal investigators are sworn, state law enforcement officers authorized to carry firearms, make arrests, conduct searches and present cases at all levels of prosecution. They work in cooperation with the insurance industry, state and federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. They investigate crimes involving insurance fraud, and criminal violations that deal with bail bonding. For more information visit

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