A Spokane jury on Tuesday acquitted a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy of insurance fraud.
Deputy Jeremy B. Jeske, a 15-year veteran of the department, remains on paid administrative leave.
The state attorney general’s office filed two criminal counts of insurance fraud stemming from claims in April for snow damage to a trailer he was storing near Priest Lake, Idaho, and damage to a carport in Davenport, Washington.
The jury found Jeske not guilty after a two-day trial. Prosecutors from the attorney general’s office handled the prosecution at the request of Steve Tucker, Spokane County prosecuting attorney.
Jeske’s attorney, Rob Cossey, credited the jury with considering “all the evidence, not just part of it.”
“This case should not have gone to trial,” Cossey said in an interview after the verdict.
Claims investigators with State Farm alleged Jeske used digital photographs taken before he bought coverage for the trailer to seek compensation. Jeske filed a claim with another company for the carport, which he then tried to rescind, calling the claim a “misunderstanding,” according to court records.
Jeske, who is assigned to the sheriff’s training unit, is the subject of an internal affairs investigation.
Jeske was charged with two counts of providing false claims or proof, which are both gross misdemeanors calling for up to 364 days in jail or a $5,000 fine.
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