Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
The Special Investigations Unit was created by the Washington State Legislature in accordance to RCW 48.135.020 (www.leg.wa.gov). An advisory board of representatives from the insurance industry, consumers, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, county prosecutors, and law enforcement, was created to oversee the unit and advise the insurance commissioner of its progress.
The mission of SIU is to identify and investigate for prosecution criminal organizations and individuals engaged in fraud schemes that target insurance companies.
SIU detectives are certified law-enforcement peace officers with authority to conduct criminal investigations, arrest suspects and submit cases to prosecutors for charges involving fraudulent activities against insurance companies. The unit shares information with federal, state and local law-enforcement officials, insurance companies, and regulatory agencies that investigate insurance fraud and scams. The unit investigates medical fraud, staged auto collisions, property, bogus bodily injury claims, and other types of fraud.
SIU investigates instances of criminal fraud in Washington state, receiving an average of 200 referrals per month. Fraud tips and referrals come from:
- The general public,
- Law-enforcement agencies,
- The National Insurance Crime Bureau and its member companies,
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners,
- The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) employees, and
- The Washington State Attorney General's Office.
Through the OIC's collaborative efforts with law enforcement, other governmental agencies and the insurance industry, SIU prosecutes those who commit criminal insurance fraud to include false medical claims. In 2013, SIU pursued 11 insurance fraud cases resulting in 32 felony charges and preventing more than $237,000 in monetary loss in 11 Washington counties.
The unit also works to discourage future attempts at fraud, protecting and informing consumers about the nature and prevention of insurance fraud.
Washington state insurance fraud Most-Wanted
The total cost of (non-health) insurance fraud is estimated at more than $40 billion per year, meaning the average U.S. family pays between $400 and $700 per year in the form of increased premiums.
The following individuals are wanted for failing to appear for charges of criminal insurance fraud and theft. Do not attempt to apprehend any of the following individuals. If you have information that may lead to their arrest, please contact your local law enforcement agency, or contact SIU.
April 2014 - Mesbah has been charged with Filing False Insurance Claims in Excess of $1,500 RCW 48.30.230 (www.leg.wa.gov), Theft 1 RCW 9A.56.030(1) (www.leg.wa.gov), Criminal Attempt RCW 9A.28.020(3)(c) (www.leg.wa.gov), and Making a False or Misleading Statement to a Public Servant RCW 9A.76.175 (www.leg.wa.gov).
Do you have a tip about one of SIU's Most-Wanted? Email SIU.
SIU's director speaks frequently at events to help increase awareness of insurance fraud and how to avoid it. Presentations are expressly designed for civic groups, chambers of commerce, and members of the insurance industry.
We also make presentations to the public, private organizations, law enforcement, fire investigators and government agencies.