Spokane-area woman convicted of theft in insurance case

Spokane-area woman convicted of theft in insurance case

A Liberty Lake, Wash. woman pleaded guilty today in Spokane County Superior Court to theft for filing thousands of dollars in false insurance claims.

Sarah Shireee Walters was sentenced to 10 days in jail, which was converted to 80 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution and fees.

Walters and her husband, Jeremy Walters were both employees of Liberty Mutual/Safeco insurance company since early 2010. They had a renter's policy for their apartment in Liberty Lake.

Last April, Sarah Walters called Safeco and reported the loss of two Gateway laptops and computer games while the couple was on a day trip. The company processed the claim and issued a check for $1,524.

A few weeks later, Walters again called Safeco. This time, she reported the loss of two $500 iPod Touch devices, a set of $450 Dr. Dre headphones and a $580 camera. She said she'd left them in a Spokane park, and that they may have been stolen. The couple was sent a $2,030 check.

Less than three weeks after that, Walters again called Safeco to say that she'd lost two EVO phones and a BlackBerry. She said she'd had all three phones in her sweater pocket at the park.

After three claims in three months, the company referred the claim to one of its investors. Confronted with discrepancies in the claims, Sarah Walters admitted that the laptops, camera and other items were never really missing.

She pleaded guilty today to two counts of second-degree theft.

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