For Consumers

Court fines Spanaway man $1,000 after plea for auto insurance fraud

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

April 5, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Joseph Brumbles, 32, of Spanaway, will pay a $1,000 fine and serve 24 hours of community service after pleading guilty March 31 to attempting to file a false insurance claim.

Brumbles pled guilty in Pierce County Superior Court. In addition to the fine, he will be on probation for a year and must pay $700 in court costs.

Brumbles initially was charged with filing a false insurance claim following an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit. According to the investigation, Brumbles’ insurance policy on his 2011 Ford F-150 was canceled for nonpayment in April 2014. Brumbles called State Farm insurance to reinstate his policy on April 14 and then filed a claim moments after reinstating his insurance, saying he rear-ended another vehicle.

The metadata on the collision photos showed they were taken a few minutes before Brumbles reinstated his auto insurance. Brumbles filed a claim for more than $6,000 in damage to his truck and more than $670 in damage to the vehicle he hit.

Kreidler’s SIU 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.