Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Everett man charged with fraud for allegedly getting insurance AFTER accident

A 40-year-old Everett man has been charged with insurance fraud after allegedly causing a three-car wreck -- with no insurance on the vehicle -- then going online to add coverage and subsequently filing a claim.

Mike Bieniek was driving his 1999 Ford F-150 last October when the accident happened. He filed a claim with his insurer, Geico Insurance. The resulting claims total thousands of dollars in vehicle damage and injuries. The State Patrol cited Bieniek, who rear-ended the car in front of him and pushed it into the next one, for tailgating.

According to Bieniek, he'd owned the truck for about five years, loaning it to sub-contractors helping him at job sites and relying on them to get insurance when they used it. He said a friend had returned the truck to him at a grocery parking lot, at which point he pulled out his laptop, went online to Geico's website, and added coverage for the truck. Shortly after pulling out of the parking lot, he said, he was involved in the collision.

But a subsequent investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's anti-fraud team, the Special Investigations Unit, determined that things didn't happen in quite that order.

The crash occurred at about 10:10 a.m., according to the police report and witnesses. It was more than half an hour later that Bieniek logged into Geico's website.

Bieniek was charged in King County Superior Court.

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