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Sirens & Gavels

$200k patio claim leads to fraud charge

A Spokane businessman has been charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft after officials say a snow-damaged patio cover worth about $4,000 mushroomed into a nearly $200,000 claim.

Keith R. Scribner, 47, pleaded not guilty Monday in Spokane County Superior Court on one count of insurance fraud and one count of attempted theft. He is represented by Carl Oreskovich.

Scribner's mother, Marilyn Warsinske, filed a claim to replace the patio with Liberty Mutual insurance in July 2009, according to the Office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner.

Scribner sent the insurance company three bids between $195,586 to $213,815 to replace the cover and said no photos existed of the home prior to the damage, and that the home was never appraised, officials say.

But a claims handler discovered an aerial photo of the home on a real estate website that showed a much smaller patio cover than Scribner claimed. Investigators discovered Scribner had discussed plans to replace the deck in 2008 with bids at $3,913 and $4,782, leading to the felony charges.

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