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November 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Ex-Issaquah insurance agent pleads guilty to $1M theft

A former Issaquah insurance agent accused of stealing $1 million from five elderly clients pleaded guilty yesterday to 10 counts of first-degree theft.

Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim will be sentenced on Nov. 18 and King County prosecutors plan to ask for an exception sentence of 5 1/2 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Jamrus-Kassim convinced her clients to cash out large portions of their annuities with Bankers Life and Casualty. She allegedly deposited checks endorsed by her clients into bank accounts belonging to her two teenage daughters and then transferred funds to her own personal account.

The clients thought the money was being reinvested, but investigators say Jamrus-Kassim pocketed more than $1 million between October 2007 and November 2009.

Investigators say she spent the money on jewelry, clothes, a trip to Mexico and online psychics. In January 2009 alone, she allegedly paid more than $20,000 to the Online Psychic Network, according to the charges.

Jamrus-Kassim quit her job in January 2010 after becoming aware of the investigation, charging papers say.

One of the five alleged victims, an 81-year-old Bellevue man who allegedly lost $130,000, died in January.

In December 2009, the son of that man contacted the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) to file a complaint against Jamrus-Kassim, charging papers say. Three days later, a Renton woman, Dorothy King, 92, also filed a complaint against Jamrus-Kassim, who then returned $25,503 to King, according to a news release issued by the OIC. The two complaints triggered the state investigation.

Jamrus-Kassim was arrested in March in Kent while she was attempting to liquidate her assets, including selling her house in a “short sale,” according to the charges.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: fraud, Issaquah, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office

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