December 21, 2018
OLYMPIA, Wash. – One man pleaded guilty to defrauding an insurance company and three women were charged this month in connection with attempted insurance scams after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
Jonathan Franciuc of Bothell pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to one count of filing a false insurance claim, a gross misdemeanor. He was sentenced to serve 30 days in a community work program, 12 months of probation and to pay $500 in victim assessment fees. Officials charged Franciuc after an investigation by Kreidler’s CIU.
According to the investigation, Franciuc purchased a State Farm insurance policy for his 2005 Volvo V70 on Feb. 8, 2017. On Feb. 15, he filed a claim for damage to the car after he collided with a highway divider. The investigation showed the collision occurred on Feb. 4, four days before Franciuc bought the policy. State Farm paid Franciuc $6,785 for the total loss of his vehicle and a rental car, which he paid back in May 2017 when he withdrew the claim. State Farm referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Three people were charged in Snohomish County Court in connection with separate insurance fraud investigations.
Yandeh Nyang was charged with first-degree attempted theft in connection with an auto insurance claim. According to the investigation, Nyang purchased insurance from GEICO for her 2010 Chevrolet Equinox on Oct. 11, 2017 and filed a claim two days later for more than $8,000 in damage to the vehicle from an engine fire. Records show that Nyang called 911 on Oct. 10 – the day before she purchased insurance – and firefighters responded to her Everett apartment complex to extinguish the fire. GEICO denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Alicia Juma was charged with filing a false insurance claim related to an auto collision. According to the investigation, Juma purchased insurance on her Volvo XC90 at 6 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2016 from Kemper Insurance. Four days later, she filed a claim for a collision that she said happened Dec. 18 in Bothell when she struck an unoccupied parked car. Kemper determined the car to be a total loss, valued at more than $5,839. However, Kemper found police records that show the collision happened at 1 a.m. on Dec. 17, before Juma bought the insurance policy. Kemper denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Kristin Wright was charged with filing a false insurance claim on her renter’s policy. According to the investigation, Wright reported a burglary at her Everett apartment in March 2017. She filed a claim of more than $8,600 with American Bankers Insurance Co. for stolen items including a mountain bike, two helmets, two crates of wine and some tools. Wright provided a receipt for the bike showing she bought it in December 2016 for $7,000. The bike store told the insurer’s investigator that the details on the receipt were wrong, and the model of bike listed on the receipt was not available for sale until January 2017. American Bankers concluded the receipt was falsified, denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with Washington State Patrol and state and local prosecutors on criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Insurance companies are required by law to report fraud to the commissioner.
Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the insurance commissioner’s website.