For Consumers

Phantom auto theft claim results in charges against Eastern Washington man

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

February 4, 2020

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Dale Maki, of Usk, Wash., was charged in Pend Oreille Superior Court with one count of false claims or proof in connection with an auto claim after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).

According to the investigation, Maki bought a 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck for $3,000 from a private party on Aug. 13, 2018. He added it to his Farmers Insurance auto policy that day. Two days later, he filed a claim for $3,338 in damage to the passenger side rear wheel panel and bumper. He stated the truck was stolen from his property the night of Aug. 13 and returned to his property with the damage he reported before he woke up on Aug. 14 . 

Investigators found a report Maki had filed with the Pend Oreille Sheriff’s Department the morning of Aug. 14, in which the deputy noted there was no evidence the truck had been stolen. The previous owner of the vehicle showed investigators photos of the damage to the truck that were taken before Maki bought it. Farmers denied the claim and referred it to Kreidler’s investigators. 

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.