For Consumers

Buying insurance after the fact doesn’t pan out; three sentenced

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

March 14, 2018

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three people were sentenced to community service after pleading guilty to charges related to purchasing insurance after incurring property losses. Charges were filed after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU)

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Hashim Makawi, 40, of Everett, was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court to 80 hours of community service and to pay $10,858 in restitution and $700 in court fees, all of which he has completed. Makawi pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted theft in December 2017. 

According to the investigation, Makawi purchased renter insurance from Assurant Specialty/American Bankers Insurance on May 11, 2016, and the next day filed a water-damage claim following a garbage can fire in his apartment. Records from the Everett Fire Department show the fire occurred the day before he bought the policy. 

Makawi failed to appear in Snohomish County Superior in September and was listed on Kreidler’s insurance fraud most wanted. He reported to the court in October to face the charges against him.  

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Charles Bjork, 45, formerly of Everett, was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court to 80 hours of community service, which he’s already completed, and to pay a $300 fine and $700 in court fees. Bjork pleaded guilty to attempted insurance fraud on Dec. 20.

According to the investigation, Bjork purchased a Progressive auto insurance policy on Jan. 21, 2016, after having a collision on the freeway that morning. That evening, he filed a $6,475 claim for the vehicle’s total loss.

Jasmine McQuiston, 33, of Federal Way, will serve 40 hours of community service and pay $700 in court fees after pleading guilty last month to second-degree attempted theft. She was charged in November 2017 in King County Superior Court with one count of making a fraudulent insurance claim. 

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According to the investigation, McQuiston filed a claim with GEICO in August 2016 for damage to her vehicle. She reported that her 2010 GMC Terrain rolled backwards into a concrete barrier and was damaged while it was parked overnight. GEICO determined that McQuiston renewed her expired auto policy the same day her car was damaged in a hit-and-run collision and was impounded by police. GEICO denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.

Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.