Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seattle woman pleads guilty to insurance fraud

A Seattle woman has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud after claiming $6,503 for auto damage that occurred prior to getting coverage.

Margaret Balderama told Seattle police and her insurance company, GEICO, that she was driving home shortly after midnight on July 5, 2010 when an unknown vehicle hit her 2005 Honda CRV and fled the scene.

She had renewed her auto insurance policy that very afternoon. (It had been cancelled for nonpayment more than 7 months earlier.)

The problem: Area residents told an investigator that they'd seen the car with extensive damage nearly 24 hours earlier than Balderama claimed -- and hours before she called GEICO to renew the lapsed policy.

Balderama pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of insurance fraud on April 25th. Sentencing is slated for May 13th.