Prison and a $273K bill for Snohomish insurance agent’s fraud

Vicki Boser, 58, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison. She was also ordered to repay clients.

SEATTLE — A Snohomish insurance agent was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison for defrauding clients of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Vicki Boser, 58, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one count wire fraud in August. She was charged last year with five counts for scheming to steal from clients, brokers, and financiers from 2014 to 2016.

Boser established her company, InsuranceTek, in 2003, according to court documents. She often helped family-owned small businesses secure insurance policies to cover their operations. Her clients included private investigators, mortgage firms and security guard companies. They were based across the United States, from Ohio to Texas, Illinois to Tennessee. The businesses she worked with were often in high-risk industries where insurance is a must.

While InsuranceTek had about a half-dozen employees, Boser gave final approval over all business moves. And Boser was the only person allowed to work on some “VIP” clients, according to prosecutors.

Boser would find carriers willing to insure her clients. As required by law, she collected the payments on the insurance premiums from them. She was then supposed to send those funds to the insurance companies.

She didn’t.

Instead, Boser pocketed some of those premiums.

For example, in 2015, Boser secured insurance for a Texas-based business that works on foreclosed homes. When it was time to renew that policy, she collected over $153,000 to pay for it. But she only made a down payment of under $6,000 and kept the rest.

Boser then defaulted on payments, leading her to cancel the Texas company’s insurance policy — without informing the company.

The business, one of Boser’s VIP clients, had to pay more than $106,000 to reinstate its insurance.

In other cases, Boser took out loans from financing companies in a client’s name without their knowledge and then kept the money. And she sometimes created fake insurance certificates to make it appear a company was insured when it wasn’t. She could then steal the payments a company made to get the “insurance.”

“The theft was not a one-time, isolated lapse in judgment but, rather, a decision that Boser made over and over again over the course of years,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lyndsie Schmalz wrote in court papers. “And every time that Boser made the decision to enrich herself at the expense of one of her clients, she not only took their hard-earned money, but she also exposed them to the potentially devastating consequences of operating a high-risk business without insurance coverage.”

Boser often spent the stolen money at local casinos, according to bank records. From 2013 to 2015, she reportedly lost almost $285,000 at Tulalip casinos.

The investigation into Boser’s conduct began when the FBI received information on complaints against her via the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner. In 2017, the state barred Boser and her company from selling insurance in Washington.

At sentencing Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart reportedly compared Boser’s actions to a Ponzi scheme.

Robart ordered her to pay over $273,000 in restitution to companies and brokers she defrauded.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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