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Man accused of “cat scam”

Thu., July 5, 2012, 2:15 p.m.

Wanted $20,000 for pet he claimed died

OLYMPIA — A Tacoma man asked an insurance company to reimburse him for his cat that he said died in a car accident caused by a person they covered.

Even though PEMCO had already settled the claim on the two-and -a- half year-old accident for more than $3,452 to cover Yevgeniy Samsonov’s chiropractor bills, it sent him a check for $50. Not enough, said Samsonov, not for a cat that cost him $1,000 and was like a son to him. He sent PEMCO two pictures of a very attractive white cat with blue eyes, and asked for $20,000.

PEMCO balked. Samsonov objected. He filed a complaint against the company with the state Insurance Commissioner’s office. PEMCO filed a complaint of suspected insurance fraud, noting that the pictures he sent apparently came off the Internet, and weren’t even of the same cat. And cancelled the $50 check.

The complaints arrived at about the same time, Rich Roesler, a spokesman for the commissioner’s office, said. An investigation showed PEMCO was right. Samsonov faces charges in Pierce County Superior Court for insurance fraud and attempted theft.

“We’ve handled some pretty unusual fraud cases, but this is one of the stranger ones,” Commissioner Mike Kreidler said.

One of the problems for Samsonov, Roesler said, was that one of the two photos sent PEMCO (shown here) is the first picture one gets on Google images when typing in”white cat with blue eyes.”


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