November 24, 2020
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Ivan Kriger, of Spokane, was charged in Spokane County Superior Court with four counts of attempted theft and four counts of filing a false insurance claim. This is the second set of insurance fraud-related charges against Kriger investigated by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
According to the investigation, Kriger filed two sets of fraudulent claims for commercial properties he owns in Spokane, a derelict building and an adjacent parking lot. Kriger is a developer in Spokane and owns a company called Crystal City LLC.
The derelict building caught fire on Nov. 7, 2017. That day, Kriger secured a policy from Zurich Insurance Co. that took effect on Nov. 15, eight days after the fire happened. He filed a claim for $324,000 for the cost to remove asbestos and demolish the building. Zurich denied the claim for lack of coverage since the coverage wasn't in place the day of the fire. Kriger tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get Zurich to pay the claim.
The City of Spokane ended up paying $356,650 to remove the asbestos and demolish the building after repeated attempts to get Kriger to do so failed.
In February 2019, Kriger filed a claim against the City of Spokane for damage to the parking lot adjacent to the derelict building. Kriger claimed that the company the city contracted with to demolish the building destroyed the parking lot with heavy equipment and water used during the demolition. The claim for $279,680 went to the contractor’s insurer, Alaska National Insurance Co. The insurer determined through interviews of neighboring businesses and photos from Google Maps that the damage had been there for years, long before Kriger bought the property. The insurer denied the claim. Both insurers referred the case to Kreidler’s fraud investigators, as required by state law.
In addition to these charges, Kriger is scheduled for a trial in January 2021 related to an earlier insurance fraud investigation. In September 2019, Kriger was charged with attempted first-degree theft and presenting a false claim for insurance purposes. In that case, Kreidler’s investigators found evidence that Kriger falsified a claim for $18,800 for water damage to a house he was renovating.
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.