October 15, 2021
OLYMPIA, Washington – Christopher Michalke, of Seattle, has been indicted by King County Superior Court with one count of filing a false insurance claim for a $ 14,753 Rolex watch after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU). Michalke is due in court on October 25 for a hearing.
According to the investigation, Michalke purchased a “valuable personal property” insurance rider from the USAA in August 2019 to cover his Rolex Submariner watch which he purchased in 2018 for $ 14,753. On August 7, 2020, Michalke filed a claim with the USAA stating that he had lost the watch while wakeboarding on Lake Washington three days previously.
The USAA investigator found evidence that Michalke sold his watch to Bellevue Rare Coins for $ 8,750 on August 28, 2020 – 21 days after filing the claim. The USAA denied the request and referred the case to Kreidler’s CIU, as required by state law.
Kreidler’s CIU investigates insurance fraud and works with the Washington State Patrol and state and local prosecutors on criminal matters. Insurance fraud costs the average family $ 400 to $ 700 per year in increased premiums. Insurance companies are required by law to report fraud to the commissioner.
Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud on the Insurance Commissioner’s website.