For Consumers

Kirkland man pleads guilty to filing a false auto insurance claim

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March 30, 2023

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Kirkland man pled guilty to committing insurance fraud after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).

Jerame Thurik pled guilty to false claims or proof on March 27 in King County Superior Court. He was ordered to pay $500 in court fees, undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and serve 24 months’ probation. His jail sentence was suspended, aside from the day he spent in King County Jail.

Thurik purchased an insurance policy with GEICO on April 12, 2021. A month and a half later he filed a claim, stating he’d been involved in a collision on May 20 and his 2016 Mercedes-Benz had suffered significant damage. 

GEICO investigated the claim and found that Thurik had been involved in a collision on April 6, 2021 — six days before he started his policy with GEICO. His vehicle had been towed to Mercedes of Bellevue, where it stayed for more than a month before being towed to Mercedes Benz of Seattle. After discovering the vehicle had been parked at the dealership since before Thurik purchased insurance, GEICO denied the claim — which included damages of $18,556.55 — and referred it to CIU, as required by state law. 

CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors on criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. 

If you suspect someone of committing insurance fraud, report it to Kreidler’s investigators