February 26, 2019
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Kristin Wright, of Everett, pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to a gross misdemeanor count of filing a false insurance claim on her renter’s insurance. She will serve 40 hours of community service and pay $500 in court fees.
Prosecutors charged Wright in December 2018 after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
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.