February 25, 2016
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Four people were charged with felonies in Pierce County Superior Court this month after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Joseph Brumbles, 32, of Spanaway, was charged with filing a false insurance claim. 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.
Andrew Borneman, 34, of Puyallup, was charged with one count of filing a false insurance claim and one count of attempted first-degree theft. According to the investigation, Borneman was driving his uninsured 1972 Chevrolet truck in August 2014 when he hit two parked vehicles. Shortly after the collision, Borneman’s wife bought an insurance policy for the Chevy truck. A few hours later, Borneman filed a claim for nearly $16,000 in damage to the first vehicle he hit and nearly $3,600 in damage to the second vehicle he hit. The insurance company, Esurance, denied both claims and referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU.
Vyacheslav Vizitiv, 32, of Tacoma, was charged with one count of first-degree identity theft and one count of filing a false insurance claim. According to the investigation, Vizitiv canceled the insurance on his 2002 Acura RSX on Dec. 10, 2014 because he trying to sell it. On Dec. 24, Vizitiv was in a collision with another vehicle. He reinstated his policy with GEICO on Dec. 25 and submitted an online claim on Dec. 27 in his mother’s name, saying the Acura was damaged while parked at his apartment complex. On Dec. 28, the owner of the vehicle he hit filed a claim with GEICO for the damage to her car, in which she listed the license plate number of the Acura that hit her. GEICO referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU.
Susan Whittecar, 30, of Fife, was charged with one count of first-degree attempted theft and one count of filing a false insurance claim. According to the investigation, Whittecar rear-ended a 2013 Ford CMAX, which then hit another vehicle, a 2002 BMW, on Interstate 5 on Sept. 5, 2014. About 20 minutes after the collision, Whittecar’s husband renewed the lapsed policy on his wife’s vehicle, a 2004 Volvo. On Sept. 8, Esurance was contacted by the owners of the two vehicles that Whittecar hit and got a copy of the Washington State Patrol collision report. Whittecar filed a claim for the damage to her car on Sept. 15; Esurance denied the claim based on the information in the collision report and referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU.
Kreidler’s SIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the state Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 in the form of increased premiums. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.
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