September 5, 2017
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Mark DeGross, 49, of Snohomish, pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court to one charge of third-degree theft in connection with a fraudulent boat insurance claim. DeGross was sentenced to serve 120 hours of community service, pay a $5,000 fine and $700 in court fees.
Officials charged DeGross with one charge of first-degree attempted theft and one charge of insurance fraud, both felonies, in May 2017 after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
According to the investigation, DeGross filed a $9,351 claim with Progressive Insurance for damage to his boat that he said occurred in January 2015 while he was wakeboarding at Lake Entiat near Wenatchee. Kreidler’s detectives determined that the accident actually happened in July 2014, before DeGross purchased a boat policy in September 2014.
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.