October 15, 2019
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Steven Jones and Brittany Jones each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of filing a false insurance claim after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). Each was given a two-year deferred sentence as long as they commit no additional law violations during that time. They were also each sentenced to three days in jail converted to 24 hours of community service and to pay $500 in court fees.
According to the investigation, the Joneses, a married couple, added a 2011 Ford Escape to their GEICO insurance policy at 6:08 a.m. on June 18. They filed a claim for damage to the vehicle, totaling $11,273, resulting from a collision they said happened 20 minutes after they bought the policy. GEICO found records indicating the car was towed from the collision scene at 5 a.m. that day, before they bought the policy. GEICO denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s detectives, as required by state law.
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.