September 12, 2017
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two men were charged with felonies in Snohomish County Superior Court and one man was referred to a diversion program by Thurston County Superior Court in cases investigated by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
Hashim Makawi, 39, of Everett, was charged with one count each of first-degree attempted theft and filing a false insurance claim, both felonies. According to the investigation, Makawi purchased renter’s insurance on May 11, 2016, and the next day filed a water-damage claim following a garbage can fire in his apartment. Records from the Everett Fire Department show the fire occurred May 10, the day before he bought the policy.
Charles Bjork, 44, Everett, was charged with one count each of first-degree attempted theft and filing a false insurance claim, both felonies. According to the investigation, Bjork purchased a Progressive auto insurance policy on Jan. 21, 2016, after having a collision on the freeway that morning. That evening, he filed a claim for the damage to his car, estimated at $6,475 for the vehicle’s total loss.
Trevor W. Irving, 32, of Lynnwood, was referred to a diversion program by Thurston County Superior Court and must repay court fees and nearly $17,000 in restitution to Farmers Insurance. His case will be dismissed if he complies with the requirements of the diversion program. Irving, a former insurance producer, was charged with one count each of first-degree theft and first-degree identity theft, both felonies, in February.
According to the investigation, Irving collected nearly $49,000 in unearned commissions from Farmers Insurance by submitting 41 fake auto insurance policies for 11 consumers without their knowledge and for himself using cars he did not own. Farmers discovered the theft during an audit and reported it to the insurance commissioner for an investigation. Farmers was able to recover more than $32,000 before firing Irving. Kreidler revoked Irving’s insurance producer license in January 2015, and he is no longer legally authorized to sell insurance.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute 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.