Kent woman pleads guilty to insurance scam of elderly clients
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
November 1, 2011 · 4:17 PM
Ex-insurance agent Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim, of Kent, pleaded guilty Monday to 10 counts of first-degree theft for stealing more than $1 million in retirement funds from five men and women ages 74 to 90.
Prosecutors will recommend an exceptional sentence of five years, eight months based on the vulnerability of the victims, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. The standard sentence range is three years, seven months to four years, nine months.
Jamrus-Kassim is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Nov. 18 before King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong in Courtroom E-847 at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. Jamrus-Kassim was taken into custody Monday. She is in the county jail in Seattle.
The trial for Jamrus-Kassim had been scheduled to start Monday.
Chicago-based Bankers Life and Casualty, one of the companies that Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim, an independent agent, worked for, agreed last month to replace the money stolen by the agent.
State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said an investigation by his office found that five clients of Jamrus-Kassim repeatedly cashed out large portions of their annuities with Banker’s Life and Casualty from 2007 to 2009. The money was then pocketed by Kassim. She resigned in January from Bankers Life.
Washington State Patrol troopers arrested Jamrus-Kassim in March in Kent. King County prosecutors charged her with 21 counts of first-degree theft.
The crime came to the insurance office’s attention through a complaint from the son of an 80-year-old man who saw large checks written by his father while looking through his finances.
The men and women typically made out their checks to “S.A. Saad” and gave them to Kassim. Several said they believed that S.A. Saad was an insurance company official. They thought their money was being reinvested, according to the insurance commissioner's office.
In reality, Kassim has two daughters, both with the initials and surname “S.A. Saad.” Most of the money was deposited briefly in the girls’ accounts, then moved to Kassim’s personal credit union account.
Kassim’s financial records showed thousands of dollars spent on clothes, jewelry, and a trip to Mexico, according to the insurance commissioner's office. They also show large payments to online psychic advisors, including $20,000 in charges from one psychic website in one month.
The men and women live in Bellevue, Renton and Seattle. The payment amounts by Bankers were $512,112, $488,071, $116,070, $65,321 and $929.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.