A Lynnwood man is charged with insurance fraud for an elaborate ruse involving hundreds of neckties.
In January 2009, Carlton Wopperer claimed thieves had stolen his collection of 212 silk ties from his vehicle. PEMCO insurance paid him $33,000 for replacement ties. Then five months later, he claimed those ties had also been stolen and filed another claim for $35,000.
But after investigators checked with the retailers, they learned that most of the ties purchased in January had actually been returned to the stores almost immediately.
“You can’t return a product, keep the receipt, and then claim that the product was stolen. That’s classic insurance fraud,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “And insurance fraud drives up the cost of premiums for everyone else.”
The investigation also revealed that there had been yet another similar claim nine years earlier in which Wopperer was paid $16,900.
He’s scheduled to be arraigned on July 6, 2010 on two counts of insurance fraud.