Reading over the "facts, and circumstances" that Seattle Police Detective Randal Woolery presented to the court determining probable cause that KIRO talk host Mike Webb committed the crime of Filing a False Insurance Claim, we concluded: This is so crazy, HE MUST BE INNOCENT!
The cops say that on June 28, 2005, Michael Kenneth Webb was involved in an accident in his 2000 Lexus GS-3, 4-door in Seattle's Eastlake area. The damage to his car was estimated at $4000 and the accident was judged by the investigating officer not to be Webb's fault.
At the time of the accident, the report says, Michael Kenneth told the investigating officer that he had car insurance with National Merit and provided proof of same.
The following day, (June 29) according to GEICO records, Webb bought over the phone, a 6-month insurance policy for the Lexus from the widely-advertised national insurance company. The cops say he elected to have monthly payments debited from a Washington Mutual Bank account. GEICO records showed the first payment of $151 was debited from his account on that day, June 29. The next payment was debited from his account on July 4th, again for $151.
On June 30, according to the police report, GEICO got a breezy e-mail from Michael Kenneth stating: "I need to get a copy of the policy via email (sic) as promised. I signed up day before yesterday and they said it would come same day. can (sic) you please please check this ? Thank you, Mike."
Later that same day, police say Webb called GEICO to report the June 28 accident and start a claim process. The company started a claim with the repair estimate for the Lexus' damage in the amount of $5982.47.
GEICO's records, according to police, indicated the policy the claim was made under had been opened after the accident occurred. The company concluded therefore, that the coverage was not in effect. Police say the claim was then assigned to GEICO Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigator Bill Brown.
The report continues: "During GEICO's investigation, the defendant [Mike Webb] continued to express that his policy was in effect when the accident occurred and that he applied for the policy on-line with GEICO on May 20, 2005 with a policy period of May 30 to Nov. 30 2005. GEICO's records indicated that the policy period is June 30 to Dec 30, 2005."
Webb made this claim in taped interviews with a GEICO claims rep; and Investigator Brown. The latter was conducted in the office and presence of Webb's attorney, sports celebrity lawyer Bradley Marshall.
This is the part that's most incredible: During the interview in Bradley's office, police say Webb presented Brown with a heavily redacted copy of his Washington Mutual on-line bank statement for the date range of May 19 to June 15. Highlighted were debits dated May 20 and June 7, each in the amount of $151 and purporting to be from DIRECTDEBIT/VISA-GEICO.
The police report says Webb contended this was proof that his GEICO policy was effective in May 2005 and in effect when his accident occurred on June 28.
Investigators write that when they requested permission to view Webb's on-line banking record in its entirety, or get a copy of his statement directly from the bank, he refused.
No surprise that Detective Woolery got a search warrant from Superior Court Judge Michael Trickey on Nov. 8, trooped over to Washington Mutual and grabbed 11 pages of documents from Webb's accounts at the bank.
Police reports say when the real bank statements were compared with the marked-up on-line statement Webb gave investigators in August, they "failed to show debits occurring to GEICO on May 20 and June 7." A bank investigator confirmed that the bank had no records of debits on those dates, although there were debits posted to accounts payable to GEICO on June 29 and July 4, 2005. This was consistent with the payment information provided by the insurance company.
Remember the "proof of insurance" from National Merit, Webb gave the cop at the time of his accident? In the August attorney's office interview, the police report says Webb said he kept the National Merit policy until he applied for the GEICO policy, which he was alleging he did in May, 2005. But according to police, Chris Fannin from National Merit confirmed in a statement that Webb had coverage on the Lexus but his policy was cancelled on July 30, 2001.
If this is as stated in police reports, Webb had driven his expensive car without insurance since 2001 and yet possessed "proof of insurance" that somehow satisfied a police officer's cursory inspection.
Webb is innocent until proven guilty. These charges are so outrageous and unbelievable; the amount of money so trivial (especially for a well-paid entertainer) there must be another explanation. How could anyone- even Mike Webb- be so stupid or greedy or arrogant or blinded by ego to ever believe such a scheme could be successful?
He has pled not guilty and we look forward to his day in court- maybe there we can get the real story.