May 31, 2019
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Jessica Epler, formerly of Spokane, pleaded guilty in Spokane County Superior Court on May 10 to one count of filing a false insurance claim, a felony, in connection with a $4,000 diamond ring claim. Epler was sentenced to 45 days in jail for time she has already served and ordered to pay $600 in court costs.
Officials charged Epler with in August 2018 after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). She failed to appear in court and was on Kreidler’s insurance fraud most wanted list from September 2018 until she was arrested in Leesport, Penn., during a traffic stop in March 2019. She was extradited to Washington state to face the charges against her.
According to Kreidler’s investigation, Epler added a diamond ring valued at $4,000 to her fiance’s renter’s insurance policy in August 2016. She filed a mysterious disappearance claim with the insurer, Liberty Mutual, on Oct. 2, 2016. Epler was an employee of Liberty Mutual at the time of the claim. She told the insurer she put the ring in her purse while she was out with friends and her purse went missing. Investigators found records showing that Epler sold the ring to a Spokane pawn shop on Sept. 26, 2016.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the 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.