Four North Carolina men are accused of embezzling more than $5 million from a Lenoir County insurance company.

One of the suspects is 67-year-old Edward Steed of Swansboro, the former vice president of Discovery Insurance in Kinston. Investigators said Steed used company claim funds to write $5.3 Million in checks to fake businesses over a six-year period.

The department of insurance said Steed ran the alleged scheme with his brother, 65-year-old Franklin Steed, and two friends, 55-year-old Marvin Quinn and 61-year-old Edward Waters.

Stuart Lindley, President of Discovery Insurance, said in a statement Wednesday, “While this saddens our company that a highly regarded employee could commit such fraudulent activity, we are very fortunate that it was isolated to only this employee, and in no way affected our agents, customers, daily operations, or financial stability of the company.”

The scheme is one of the largest insurance freud cases investigated by the North Carolina Department of insurance, according to its commissioner, Wayne Goodwin. North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne