Washington Man Sentenced in Dead Cat Insurance Scam
Strap on your LOLlerskates, everybody, because this is just about one of the most ridiculous stories I’ve ever heard.
In March of 2009, Yevgeniy Samsonov of Tacoma, Washington, was involved in a car accident. His insurance company, PEMCO Insurance (which, by the way, has some of the most awesome TV ads I’ve ever seen), paid him $3,452.28 on a related claim. As usual, he signed a release that barred him from making any other insurance claims related to the accident.
But Samsonov wasn’t satisfied with a mere $3,500, so in October 2011 he tried to file a new claim, this time for $20,000, stating that his blue-eyed white cat, who was “like a son” to him, had been killed in the 2009 accident. He included a photo of the cat.
PEMCO investigators are no slouches when it comes to investigating claims with a whiff of the bogus, so they asked for another photo, which Samsonov also sent them.
The company still smelled a rat, so investigators did a little bit more research. They started with a Google image search -- and wouldn’t you know, they found the photos Samsonov had sent. They were two different cats, and neither one of them was Samsonov’s.
PEMCO denied the claim and pressed charges against Samsonov, who was found guilty of attempted theft and insurance fraud. He will be sentenced today.
But wait. It gets better.
In a Monty Python-esque twist, the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s office says another company has come forward, saying Samsonov had made a similar claim … but this time it was even more ridiculous.
Rich Roesler, who handles public affairs for the Insurance Commissioner, said, “After charges were filed at the request of state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler this summer, an insurance company contacted Kreidler's office to report that Mr. Samsonov had also filed a nearly identical $20,000 claim for a dead parrot.”
(In a reader? Watch the video here.)
Alas, the photo Samsonov provided was not a parrot. It was a parakeet.
The moral of the story: If you’re going to try and scam an insurance company, remember that investigators know how to use Google image search, too; and if you must file false photos, at least try to find a photo of the correct species.
Source: Seattle Weekly