Usk man charged for reported phantom auto theft claim

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Photo courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon
Copyright KXLY 4 News Now

OLYMPIA, Wash. – An Usk man has been charged in superior court for a phantom auto theft claim.

According to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Dale Maki was charged with one count of false claims or proof in connection with an auto claim investigated by the Insurance Commissioner’s Criminal Investigations Unit.

According to the investigation, Maki bought a 2000 GMC Sierra pickup truck for $3,000 from a private party in August 2018. He added it to his Farmers Insurance auto policy that day.

The commissioner said he filed a claim for $3,338 in damage to the passenger side rear wheel panel and bumper just two days later. Maki reported the truck was stolen from his property just hours after he purchased it. He claimed it was returned to his property with the damage the next morning.

Investigators found a report Maki filed with the Pend Oreille Sheriff’s Department in which the deputy noted there was no evidence the truck had been stolen. The previous owner of the truck showed investigators photos of the damage to the truck that were taken before Maki bought it.

Farmers denied the claim and referred it to the Insurance Commissioner’s investigators.