December 29, 2015
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three people were sentenced and five people were charged with felonies after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Cynthia Ann Wilcox, 45, of Gig Harbor, entered a diversion program in Pierce County in exchange for the charges against her being dismissed. Wilcox admitted in writing to the theft of $2,500 from State Farm in connection with a false insurance claim and agrees to repay the company the full amount. The charges will be reinstated if Wilcox does not follow the terms of the diversion program.
Wilcox filed a claim with Mutual of Enumclaw in October 2013 that her car was broken into and that her purse, wedding ring, other jewelry, and a women’s Rolex watch were stolen, all worth more than $25,000. The insurance company found that State Farm had paid Wilcox nearly $40,000 for a similar claim in 2005 that included a Rolex watch with the same serial number. Wilcox withdrew the Mutual of Enumclaw claim in December 2013, saying she had found the items she reported stolen in a gym bag at her home. Wilcox was charged in Pierce County Superior Court in July 2015 with one count of false insurance claims in excess of $1,500 and one count of first-degree attempted theft.
Jodi Borelli, 41, of Sumner, pleaded guilty to second-degree identity theft in Pierce County Superior Court. She was sentenced to three months in jail with credit for 43 days served, 12 months of community custody, paying AFLAC nearly $36,000 in restitution and undergoing a substance abuse evaluation.
Borelli was a licensed insurance producer for AFLAC and, according to charging documents, forged more than 150 insurance policy applications in the names of more than 50 Washington consumers using two defunct businesses as their employers, which netted her approximately $35,000 in commissions. Borelli was charged in Pierce County Superior Court in October with one count each of first- and second-degree theft.
Robin Loewen, 47, of Spokane, was sentenced in Spokane County Superior Court for false health claims to three days in jail converted to 24 hours of community service, repaying more than $10,800 to ALFAC and paying $800 in court fees.
Loewen was charged in July 2015 in connection with fraudulent billings to AFLAC between 2010 and 2014. According to the investigation, Loewen worked at a dental clinic in Liberty Lake that provided an AFLAC supplemental dental policy. AFLAC paid Loewen more than $10,800 for 32 false claims she filed using family members’ names.
Kristina McEllrath, 41, of Camas, was charged in Clark County Superior Court with first-degree theft and submitting a false insurance claim. According to the investigation, McEllrath started collecting disability insurance from Unum in July 2012 for an injury that prevented her from working. McEllrath returned to work in January 2013 and continued to collect disability insurance payments until August 2013. In total, McEllrath collected more than $28,000 in payments that she was not entitled to.
According to the charging documents, Reece and her daughter Caston were involved in a July 2014 collision in a parking lot; the at-fault driver was insured by State Farm. State Farm paid Reece $6,200 and Caston $5,600 directly to pay their related medical bills and pain and suffering. Both women kept portions of the money that were meant to pay the medical bills; the women’s health insurance paid the medical bills. Later, in October 2014,Caston was involved in another collision and submitted medical bills from the July collision to the at-fault driver’s insurance, Nationwide, for payment. Nationwide referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU for investigation.
Alhagie Abdoulie Kanaji, 36, of Everett, was charged in King County Superior Court with filing a fraudulent insurance claim with GEICO. According to the investigation, Kanaji’s car was involved in a July 2014 hit-and-run collision in Seattle after which the person driving his car fled the scene. An eyewitness to the accident followed Kanaji’s car as it fled and took a photo of the back end of the car, including its license plate. In August 2014, Kanaji filed a claim with GEICO for vandalism to his car, which he said occurred while it was parked at a friend’s house in Marysville for 24 hours. GEICO declared the car a total loss and paid Kanaji nearly $3,700 for its value. Later, USAA contacted GEICO to inform them that the vehicle was involved in the July 2014 hit-and-run collision.
Michael J. Brown, 60, of Silverdale, was charged in Kitsap County Superior Court with one count of first-degree theft in connection with fraudulent insurance policies that he submitted to AFLAC for commissions. According to the charging documents, Brown used false companies and identities to write the policies. From January 2010 through February 2011, AFLAC paid Brown was paid nearly $15,000 in commissions for the fraudulent policies.
Kreidler’s SIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.
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Release No. 15-51