Tacoma landlords charged with insurance fraud

A Pierce County couple and an acquaintance of theirs have each been charged with one felony count of insurance fraud.

William Harold Dummitt and Carole A Dummitt-Dombrowski rent out a cottage behind their home in Tacoma. On Nov. 25, 2010, the cottage had a water leak. The Dummitts submitted a claim to their insurer, USAA.

But they allegedly inflated their loss by claiming they’d been getting more rent from the cottage than they did – and to try to prove that by forging a renter’s signature on a false rental agreement.

Their acquaintance, Philip R. Burgess, told an investigator that he’d moved into the cottage on Dec. 1, 2010 and had to move out because of the sudden leak. But when the leak actually happened – Nov. 25, 2010 – Burgess was actually living in Portland, Ore.

Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Update: (Feb. 1, 2012): William and Carole Dummitt each pleaded guilty to one count of false claims or proof in an insurance claim. Both were ordered to pay $1,200 in costs and assessments, and were each sentenced to 3 days in jail, which was converted to 24 hours of community service.

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