Samsonov's fake cat
UPDATE: As reported by KOMO News (and plenty of others), on Monday Samsonov received a 45-day sentence - with 15 to be spent in custody and the remaining 30 under home monitoring.
Samsonov's fake cat
In early July The Daily Weekly told you about 29-year-old Yevgeniy M. Samsonov, a Tacoma man facing charges of attempted theft and insurance fraud after allegedly lying about the death of his cat ... which never existed. Samsonov was accused of trying to swindle PEMCO Insurance out of $20,000 by filing a bogus claim, contending that his beloved feline (which, again, never existed - totally fake cat) was killed in a 2009 automobile accident. Authorities say they caught on to Samsonov's scheme when they discovered the photos he'd provided of his purported pet didn't match, and were actually just stock photos from the internet.
At the time these were simple (and, admittedly, humorous) allegations. But these days use of the word "alleged" is no longer required - as Samsonov is scheduled to be sentenced for his crime Monday in Pierce County court.
But now there's more to the story. Representatives for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner say this isn't the only fake-dead-animal related claim Samsonov has been involved with. Rich Roesler, who handles public affairs for the Insurance Commissioner, says Samsonov tried the exact same scheme with a fictional dead parrot.
But first, some back story on the dead cat.
From our original Daily Weekly post:
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.
Yesterday, in an email to the press trumpeting Samsonov's sentencing and announcing that the agency's anti-fraud unit will available for comment outside the courtroom once the decision comes down, Roesler divulged that a new, parrot-related accusations against Samsonov has surfaced.
Shockingly enough -- and I'm not making any of this up -- the Insurance Commissioner's office says another insurance company has come forward in the time since charges were filed against Samsonov, claiming he made a similar claim, equally ridiculous claim with it, only this time claiming he'd lost his beloved parrot.
The trouble, yet again, was in providing a picture.
After charges were filed at the request of state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler this summer, an insurance company contacted Kreidler's office to report that Mr. Samsonov had also filed a nearly identical $20,000 claim for a dead parrot. (The photo Samsonov submitted in his dead-parrot claim is apparently of a parakeet.)
Wouldn't you know it, Roesler just happened to be able to provide this picture of what he calls Samsonov's "parrotkeet":