Man in $20K claim for fake dead cat gets jail time



TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma man charged with attempted theft and insurance fraud, accused of filing a $20,000 insurance claim for a fake dead cat, was sentenced to jail time and fined Monday.


Prosecutors said Yevgeniy M. Samsonov, 29, said his beloved cat Tom had been in the car when he was involved in a crash in 2009.  Two and a half years after the crash, Samsonov said his cat had been killed in the wreck and asked PEMCO for a payment of $20,000.  He sent the company two photos he said he’d taken of his cat. 


Read charges against Samsonov

Facts about the case


A PEMCO claims representative did a Google images search and discovered identical cat images appearing on websites, blogs and Facebook pages.


Insurance authorities said the two images Samsonov submitted are actually of two different cats. Neither belonged to Samsonov, the office said.


Investigators subsequently discovered that Samsonov had filed a nearly identical claim with Progressive Insurance in 2011.


In the second case, he said that his pet parrot had died in a different car crash. The parrot was like a brother to him, he said. He wanted to be paid $25,000 for the loss of the pet bird.


Samsonov submitted what he said was photo of the parrot, but it was actually a picture of a parakeet.


In court, the assistant Attorney General also revealed that Samsonov tried to get compensation out of Kemper insurance for lost wages after another alleged accident.


As part of a deal, Samsonov pleaded guilty to one count of attempted insurance fraud and the two other cases will not be pursued.


He was sentenced to 15 days in jail, 30 days on electronic home monitoring and $2,250 in court fees and restitution.