Yevgeniy M. Samsonov told officials with PEMCO Insurance his cat was like a son to him. The only trouble was the cat, which Samsonov said died in a 2009 traffic accident and was at the root of a late-2011 insurance claim seeking $20,000 from the insurance company, didn't exist.
In March, 2009 Samsonov was involved in what charging documents call "a minor traffic collision" in Tacoma. PEMCO ended up paying Samsonov $3452.28 as part of a related claim. Charging documents note that at the time of the $3452.28 payment Samsonov signed a "General Release of all Claims and Hold Harmless Agreement," which barred him from making further insurance claims related to the accident.
However, that didn't stop Samsonov from attempting to file a new claim with PEMCO in October, 2011, claiming his cat - white with blue eyes, and described in a letter as "like a son" to Samsonov - was killed in the March, 2009 "minor traffic collision." Samsonov's letter to PEMCO, which included a photograph of the cat in question, sought $20,000 from the insurance company. PEMCO asked for a second photograph of the cat which Samsonov also provided - subsequently claiming he'd taken both photographs with his camera and had the pictures printed at a local Walgreens.
Not surprisingly, PEMCO wasn't about to cut a check for $20,000 without doing a little research. And according to charging documents it didn't take long for investigators to determine something was amiss. When conducting a run-of-the-mill Google image search investigators determined that the cat pictures in question actually originated from the Internet, and not Samsonov's camera. Searching for white cats with blue eyes, the two images Samsonov had submitted to PEMCO both came up - with investigators able to determine that the cats pictured were actually two different cats, and more importantly that Samsonov owned neither animal.
PEMCO, of course, denied the claim. The charges against Samsonov soon followed.
Find charging documents filed in the case on the following page ...
Charging documents filed June 27 in Pierce County court against Yevgeniy Samsonov: