February 23, 2022
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Jessica Berman has been added to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s most wanted insurance fraud after she failed to appear in Yakima County Superior Court to face five felony charges. related to a reported car theft. A warrant for her arrest was issued on February 14 and bail is set at $10,000.
If you have information that could lead to their arrest, please contact your local law enforcement agency or contact the Kreidler Criminal Investigations Unit (UCI).
Berman was charged by the Yakima County District Attorney’s Office after an investigation by Kreidler’s CIU. According to the investigation, in May 2018, Berman obtained a $5,000 loan using his 2007 Audi Q7 as collateral. The next day, she insures the vehicle with GEICO. The following week, she reported the Audi stolen and filed a claim with GEICO, stating that there was no lien holder for the vehicle. GEICO paid Berman $10,689 for the total loss of the vehicle.
In July 2018, Berman increased the loan amount on the total vehicle and received an additional $5,000 from the lender. The lender contacted Berman in 2019 about overdue payments on the loan and eventually contacted GEICO, discovering the vehicle had been totaled. GEICO paid the lender the balance of Berman’s loan, $9,789, as required by state lienholder laws, bringing its exposure to $20,470. GEICO then referred the matter to Kreidler’s CIU, as required by state law.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Washington State Patrol and state and local prosecutors on criminal cases. Insurance fraud costs the average family $400 to $700 a year in increased premiums. Insurance companies are required by law to report fraud to the Commissioner.
Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.