insurance fraud


V.19 No.26 | 7/1/2010
Odds and Ends

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Washington—According to a report in the Seattle Times, a Lynnwood man has been charged with insurance fraud after falsely reporting the theft of 212 silk neckties worth an estimated $33,000. So what tipped off investigators? This was the third time 49-year-old Carlton Wopperer has reported the ties being stolen. The case began on Jan. 5, 2009, when Wopperer told the Mill Creek Police Department his vehicle had been broken into. He reported that four plastic containers filled with 212 of his pricey silk neckties had been stolen. According to Wopperer, he was taking the ties to a quilt shop to see about having them sewn into a quilt for display. Following the theft, Wopperer purchased $33,370 worth of replacement ties from Nordstrom, Butch Blum, Barneys New York and Mario’s of Seattle. His insurance company covered the cost. Six months later, Wopperer told the Everett Police Department his vehicle had again been burglarized, this time while he was moving. The 212 replacement ties he’d purchased after the January theft? Gone. The insurance company paid out another $35,000 to restock the closet of their tieless client. Unfortunately, an adjuster with the insurance company checked up on the claim, only to find that most of the replacement ties Wopperer purchased in January had been returned to the stores almost immediately. Wopperer allegedly held onto the receipts and filed the second claim six months later. After the crime was reported to the Insurance Commissioner’s Special Investigation Unit and referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office, it was discovered that way back in 2000, Wopperer told the Lynnwood Police department that his collection of—you guessed it—“212 silk ties” had been stolen from his vehicle while parked at a mall. His insurer at the time paid out $16,900. Wopperer is scheduled to be arraigned next month in Snohomish County Superior Court on two counts of insurance fraud. But will he be wearing a tie to court?

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