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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Former Liberty Mutual insurance employee charged for Fraud in Spokane

A former Liberty Mutual insurance employee has been charged in Spokane with theft and filing a false insurance claim after investigators say she reported her diamond ring as missing after selling it to a local pawn shop.

In her insurance claim, Jessica Epler, 25, said she put her $4,000 ring in her purse while she was out with friends and her purse went missing, according to a Washington Insurance Commission news release. Epler had added the diamond ring to her fiance’s renter’s insurance policy in August 2016 and filed the claim in October.

Kara Klotz, a spokeswoman for the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner, said companies like Liberty Mutual use algorithms that will flag claims that seem suspicious. She said Epler inquired about the status of her claim several times and Liberty Mutual asked to interview her. Epler emailed the insurer, asking to withdraw her claim. Klotz said the company denied the request and forwarded the case to the Insurance Commissioner’s office.

Klotz said insurance companies are legally required to report fraudulent activities to the state.

Investigators found records indicating Epler had sold the ring to a Spokane pawn shop a few weeks before filing her claim. According to the news release, Epler has relocated to Pennsylvania and has not responded to investigators attempts to contact her.

Epler was charged on Aug. 10 in Spokane Superior Court and her arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 5, according to court records.

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