For Consumers

Washougal man tries to wring more money out of insurance claims, faces four felonies

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October 17, 2014

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Daniel J. LeSieur, 46, of Washougal faces four felony charges in Clark County Superior Court after witnesses stated he inflated water-damage insurance claims by thousands of dollars.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigated the case.

In November 2012, LeSieur filed a claim with Farmer’s Insurance for water damage to his kitchen that was caused by a ruptured water pipe in the crawl space of the house. While the home was being repaired in late December 2012, LeSieur claimed he had hooked up his refrigerator to provide ice and water to the repair workers and that line also burst, causing additional damage to the kitchen.

He filed a second claim for damage to the house and additional damaged personal property. However, witnesses stated LeSieur intentionally turned on water in the kitchen and let it run for two days so the insurance would pay for a complete remodel of the kitchen.

LeSieur claimed $70,445 in personal property was lost in both incidents, including heirloom firearms, appliances, furniture and other house contents. He said that he disposed of most of the goods due to the extent of water damage incurred.

But witnesses said that LeSieur moved most of the items to storage units before the insurance adjuster could visit the house and that he later sold or kept the property. Farmers paid LeSieur more than $40,500 for personal property.

LeSieur and his family moved into a rental residence after the November 2012 water damage claim. He filed a claim with Farmers for $25,527 in boarding costs for his four dogs. The dog boarding facility later supplied invoices totaling $1,260 for 12 days of boarding three of the dogs. A separate witness later said LeSieur had paid him $11,000 and gave him a 1994 truck to create false documentation claiming that he had cared for the family’s dogs during the time they were displaced.

Another witness said the dogs lived with the family in the rental residence the bulk of the time. Farmers reimbursed LeSieur for more than $11,800 in dog boarding costs before they learned the invoices were falsified.

The total amount of all of LeSieur’s claims was $161,827.

“People who inflate claims like this don’t realize the harm they are doing to their neighbors and fellow consumers,” said Kreidler. “A few thousand dollars may sound like it won’t hurt a big insurance company, but those costs get passed on to other policy holders. People who are tempted to do this need to think about if a few thousand bucks is worth facing multiple felonies."

LeSieur is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 21.

Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit 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.