Whidbey couple lied about boy with cancer to get insurance

After learning of the boy’s diagnosis, his stepmother obtained a life insurance policy on him.

By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

An Oak Harbor man who attempted to fraudulently obtain life insurance on his son after the boy was diagnosed with terminal cancer will be going to prison, court records show.

Charles H. Boyles III pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Nov. 22 to perjury in the first degree, conspiracy to commit theft in the first degree and conspiracy to commit fraudulent insurance claim.

In addition, Genia H. Boyles, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraudulent insurance claim. She is married to Charles Boyles and is the boy’s stepmother.

Under the terms of a plea bargain, the prosecutor will recommend that Charles Boyles be sent to prison for a year and one month.

The prosecutor will recommend that Genia Boyles be sentenced to 364 days with 304 days suspended and that she be able serve the 60 days on electronic home monitoring.

A detective with the state Office of Insurance Commissioner investigated the case.

In June 2016, the boy’s mother informed Charles Boyles, her ex-husband, that their 11-year-old son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer after being sick for four months.

Seven hours later, Genia Boyles called Gerber Life and obtained a life insurance policy on her stepson, knowingly misrepresenting his medical history, according to the detective’s report.

Charles and Genia Boyles both were originally named as beneficiaries, but Genia Boyles called back to try to remove her husband from the policy. Charles Boyles owed $19,000 in back child support and a change in beneficiary “would shield the life insurance proceeds from DSHS collecting back child support,” the detective wrote.

That summer, the Coupeville community organized numerous fundraising events to help the boy and his family with expenses related to cancer treatments.

The boy died in April 2017 at age 12.

Two days later, Genia Boyles filed a claim with Gerber Life for $15,000. She repeatedly told Gerber representatives that she and her husband had no prior knowledge of the seriousness of the boy’s illness.

Charles Boyles obtained the boy’s medical records from Seattle Children’s Hospital to send to the life insurance company, which led to the boy’s mother discovering the fraudulent insurance claim.

Charles Boyles was summoned to court twice for delinquent child support payments. In court and in declarations, he made false statements, including that he had no prior knowledge of the boy’s medical condition and that he had obtained the insurance well before the child was sick.

Gerber Life denied the claim, finding that the couple had misrepresented the child’s medical issues.

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sibling paper to the Herald.

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