October 4, 2016
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two men failed to appear in court to face felony charges that were brought against them after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Both men are now featured on Kreidler’s insurance fraud most wanted list.
Torin Griesel, 28, failed to appear for his arraignment in Snohomish County Superior Court on Sept. 29. The court issued a warrant for his arrest and set bail at $10,000.
Griesel was charged on Aug. 31 with second-degree theft, attempted second-degree theft, and two counts of filing a false insurance claim.
According to the investigation, Griesel filed a claim with Farmers Insurance in January 2014 that several electronic devices were stolen from his car. Farmers paid Griesel more than $2,800 for a laptop, GPS, two iPod Touches and a watch that he said were stolen. In April 2014, Griesel filed another claim stating that someone stole two large-screen televisions, an Xbox One and a box of games and DVDs, worth more than $12,000, while he was moving. Farmers assigned an investigator to the claim, who contacted Griesel for more information.
Grisel said the items had been recovered and he wished to close the claim. The investigation found no proof of this, and Griesel never provided serial numbers for the items to prove he owned them or they were found. Farmers referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU as required by state law.
Erich Scott, 29, failed to appear for his arraignment in Clark County Superior Court on Sept. 23. The court issued a warrant for his arrest and set bail at $10,000. Scott was charged on Sept. 9 with attempted first-degree theft and filing a false insurance claim.
According to the investigation, Scott filed a claim with GEICO insurance in July 2015 after a car collision. The damage to his car and the other driver’s car was estimated at more than $13,000. GEICO denied the claim, stating it had canceled his policy in April when he stopped paying the premiums. GEICO provided copies of letters they sent Scott once a month from April through July. Scott gave bank records to GEICO that showed he had made premium payments each month. However, a search of his bank records did not show any payments to GEICO.
GEICO referred the case to Kreidler’s SIU as required by state law.
If you have information that may lead to either man’s arrest, please contact your local law enforcement agency or contact Kreidler’s investigators.
Kreidler’s SIU 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.
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