March 12, 2021
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Colin Walsh, of Sequim, Wash., pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court on Feb. 22 to one count of attempting to file a false insurance claim in connection with a renters insurance policy. He was sentenced to serve 364 days of confinement, which were suspended, 60 days of electronic home detention and 12 months of unsupervised probation. He must pay $2,320 in restitution and a $500 fine.
Officials charged Walsh with one felony count of filing a false insurance claim in 2019 after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). Walsh failed to appear in court and was on Kreidler’s insurance fraud most wanted from November 2019 until October 2020. Kreidler’s detectives located Walsh on social media and contacted him, after which his attorney made contact with prosecutors and the warrant was closed.
According to the investigation, Walsh filed a renters insurance claim with Amica Insurance for two bikes he reported stolen from his Seattle residence — a Trek worth $500 and a Canondale worth $2,900. Amica paid $1,013 on the claim for both bikes. After an investigation, Amica found evidence the receipt showing the purchase of the Canondale was fraudulent and Walsh never owned it. Amica referred the claim to Kreidler’s CIU.
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.