For Consumers

Three people charged with insurance fraud-related crimes in Yakima County

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February 4, 2022

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three people were charged in Yakima County Superior Court with multiple crimes after two investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).

In the first case, Joseph Calvert was charged with two counts of false claims or proof, two counts of attempted first degree theft, and one count of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant. The charges were made in connection with a home insurance claim in April 2020 and an auto insurance claim in May 2020.

According to the investigation, Calvert filed claims with his homeowner insurance, Homesite, and his auto insurance, Metromile, stating he drove his 2010 BMW X5 into an auto lift installed in his garage. The homeowner claim was estimated at $10,651 for damage to the lift and the garage floor, and the auto claim was estimated at $7,916. Investigators found that Calvert had already filed claims for the same damage with other companies he was previously insured with. GEICO had already paid $10,986 to the bank that held Calvert’s auto loan, and Farmer’s Insurance had paid $6,188 for damage to the vehicle lift and the garage floor. The insurers referred the claims to Kreidler’s CIU as required by state law. 

In the second case, Andrew Rodriguez and Marisa Lopez each were charged with one count of first-degree theft and one count of criminal conspiracy to commit first-degree theft in connection with an auto insurance claim.   

According to the investigation, Rodriguez filed a claim with National General Insurance in October 2017 for a collision involving a loaner car he was driving while his insured vehicle was being repaired. Rodriguez told investigators that while driving the loaner, a 2017 Nissan Versa, his kids distracted him and he rear-ended the car in front of him. The insurer paid over $14,000 for the total loss of the loaner car and nearly $3,000 to the other driver for damage caused by the accident. In 2018, the insurer found evidence that the driver was actually Lopez, who was specifically excluded on Rodriguez’ policy. Because she was specifically excluded, any damage caused by her would not be covered by the policy. The insurer referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU 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 to Kreidler’s investigators.