November 27, 2017
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three people are guilty and three people are charged with crimes after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). All of the cases involve auto or renter’s insurance claims.
Collin Carlson, 25, of Bellingham, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted theft in Whatcom County Superior Court. He will serve 120 hours of community service and pay $700 in court fees. According to the investigation, Carlson purchased auto insurance after he was in a collision, then filed a $3,771 claim for the total loss of his 2008 Ford Focus using a fake date and circumstances to substantiate his claim.
Dilan McCliggott, 40, of Hayden, Idaho, was found guilty in Spokane County Superior Court of filing a false insurance claim, a felony. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and to pay $800 in court fees. According to the investigation, McCliggott totaled a 2014 Dodge Challenger in Spokane that was insured by a family member. He filed a claim with Progressive, the car’s insurer, for medical expenses. Progressive denied the claim because the policy didn’t have personal injury protection that would cover the medical treatment for the car’s driver. The family member falsely told the insurer that McCliggott was a passenger in an attempt to get them to cover the medical treatment, even though McCliggott’s health insurance paid for the treatment. Progressive referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Theresa Smith, 40, of Renton, pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to attempting to file a false insurance claim. She was sentenced to 20 days of community service, 12 months of unsupervised probation, and to pay $500 in court fees. According to the investigation, Smith filed a renter’s insurance claim with State Farm in July 2015 for $9,000 in fire damage to two area rugs. She provided a handwritten receipt for the two rugs, showing she bought them from a friend for $4,500 each. State Farm found a nearly identical claim that was filed with a different insurer in May 2015 by the friend who sold Smith the rugs. The company denied the claim and referred the case to CIU.
Jasmine McQuiston, 33, of Federal Way, was charged in King County Superior Court with one count of making a fraudulent insurance claim. According to the investigation, McQuiston filed a claim in late August 2016 with GEICO for damage to her vehicle. She claimed that while her 2010 GMC Terrain was parked overnight, it rolled backwards into a concrete barrier and was damaged. GEICO determined that McQuiston renewed her expired auto policy on Aug. 17, 2016, the same day her car was damaged in a hit-and-run collision and was impounded by police. GEICO denied the claim and referred the case to CIU.
Eric Henning, 43, of Puyallup, was charged in King County Superior Court with one count of filing a false insurance claim. According to the investigation, Henning filed a claim to Assurant for $5,775 worth of TVs, jewelry, tools, DVDs and a camera that he said were stolen from his apartment by a burglar. Assurant denied the claim when it determined the photos he submitted were taken after the reported theft.
Abdikarin Mohamed, 27, of Federal Way, was charged in King County Superior Court with one count of making a false insurance claim. According to the investigation, Mohamed filed a renter’s insurance claim with his insurer, Homesite Insurance, for nearly $9,500 worth of electronics and jewelry that he said were stolen from his vehicle. Contents are covered by a renter’s or homeowner’s policy in the event of a theft from a vehicle. Two of the items Mohamed claimed were not in the vehicle – a Movado watch item was returned to Nordstrom and a Canon camera that he created a fake receipt for to prove he owned it. Homesite denied the claim and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the state Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors on criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 per year in increased premiums. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.