Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Seattle woman charged with insurance fraud for claiming car in accident had been stolen

A 38-year-old Seattle woman has been charged with insurance fraud after allegedly smashing her Honda van into two parked cars, hopping into a friend's car to flee, and then filing an insurance claim saying the van had been stolen.

According to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's anti-fraud team, the Special Investigations Unit, Luom Vo was driving on Seattle's Beacon Avenue just before 2 a.m. on Nov. 27, 2009. She hit two parked vehicles -- a Volvo station wagon and a Pontiac Vibe -- causing extensive damage. The van was disabled in the crash, which caused a total of nearly $26,000 in damage to the three vehicles.

People in nearby houses heard the crash and immediately went outside to see what had happened. They said they saw Vo get out of the van and into a white Chevrolet that sped away from the scene.

Later that day, Vo filed a claim with her insurer, PEMCO, saying that the van had been stolen. She subsequently insisted to a PEMCO investigator that she was not driving it when it was involved in the collision.

The SIU investigation found that the van had not been stolen, and that she was, in fact, behind the wheel.

She was charged with insurance fraud in King County Superior Court.

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