State v. Holanek, 242 N.C. App. 633 (Aug. 18, 2015)

(1) In a case arising out of insurance fraud, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss three counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. Two of the counts arose out of payments the defendant received based on false moving company invoices submitted to her insurance company. The defendant submitted the invoices, indicating that they were paid in full. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the State failed to prove that the invoices contained a false representation noting that the evidence showed that investigators were unable to discover any indication that either of the purported moving companies existing in North Carolina. (2) The trial court did not commit plain error by failing to instruct the jury that under G.S. 14-100(b) that “[e]vidence of nonfulfillment of a contract obligation standing alone shall not establish the essential element of intent to defraud.” Because the jury was instructed that it was required to determine whether the defendant intended to defraud the insurance company through her submission of documents containing false representations in order to return a guilty verdict, no reasonable juror could have been left with the mistaken belief that she could be found guilty based solely on her failure to comply with contractual obligations under her insurance policy.