A Kennewick Woman Tried To Get A Free Vacation By Lying. She Got Jail Instead [Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)] – InsuranceNewsNet

mar. 11—KENNEWICK, Wa. – A Kennewick woman wanted an insurance company to pay for a vacation and for missing time at work, but she ended up earning a jail sentence instead.

Sarah Jo Monty39, tried to convince her insurance company to pay more than $4,200 for a Silver Mountain Lodge vacation and 55 hours of missed work.

Both of those were lies, according to court records.

Monty pleaded guilty to making a fraudulent insurance claim and two counts of second-degree theft in Benton County Superior Court

She will serve 15 days in jail, and is being allowed to serve it in Bonner County, Idahoon work release.

Monty claimed she was sitting in her car in a Kennewick mini mart parking lot on Dec. 22, 2018when another vehicle backed into her car and drove away.

when a Kennewick officer responded to her call, he only found a small scratch on the bumper, according to court records. Monty didn’t want any immediate medical help.

The next day, she filed a claim with her insurance company, First National Insurancea subsidiary of safeco and Liberty Mutual.

when a safeco agent calls her on Jan. 2Monty said she was feeling sore and would be seeking massage therapy.

Later the same day, Monty called back and said she had to cancel a 4-day vacation to the Silver Mountain Lodge in Kellogg, Idaho, because of her injuries. The total bill she provided for the vacation was $1,415according to court records.

Six days later, Monty added that she also missed 55 hours of work as a bookkeeper for a Snohomish landscaping company.

Fraud investigation

The Liberty Mutual Investigator Traci Johnson quickly discovered Monty was lying about her trip when she talked with the lodge’s manager.

Photographs, receipts and other documents showed Monty went on the vacation.

Johnson questioned Monty, but she maintained that she tried to cancel the trip, but it was too late.

When Johnson confronted her with evidence that she had gone to the lodge, Monty said she had been told “to submit the claim since they could not do what they had planned to do on the trip.”

After the suspicious claim was discovered, safeco handed it over to the Criminal Investigations Unit of the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner† Detective Rob Thurston started investigating the case.

Insurance companies are required by law to turn over potential fraud cases to insurance commissioner investigators.

Thurston reached the owner of the Snohomish landscaping company that Monty said she was working for. He soon learned the company was closed during the period that Monty claimed she was supposed to be working.

Also, she wasn’t earning the hourly rate that she claimed, according to court records.

She only worked one day in 2019 before the owner confronted her about her honesty, said the documents. Monty never returned to work after that.

The state Office of the Insurance Commissioner says that insurance fraud costs the average Washington state family $400 to $700 a year in increased premiums.

(c)2022 Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.)

Visit Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) at www.tri-cityherald.com

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