Ex-Issaquah insurance agent pleads guilty to swindling seniors

November 15, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The former Issaquah insurance agent responsible for stealing more than $1 million from elderly clients to spend on clothing, online psychic advisers and more pleaded guilty Oct. 31.

Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim, 49, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of first-degree theft in King County Superior Court. Prosecutors reduced the number of charges from 21 as part of a plea deal.

The victims approved of the plea deal, said Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff for King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. In some cases, victims’ family members agreed, because the victim had since died.

Prosecutors said Jamrus-Kassim stole at least $1,052,088 between late 2007 and late 2009. The seniors — ranging in age from 74 to 90 — made out checks to Jamrus-Kassim. The clients thought she intended to reinvest the money for them.

Instead, she funneled the money into a personal account for clothes, jewelry and a trip to Mexico.

Court records also show she made large payments to online psychic advisers, including $20,000 to a psychic website in a single month.

Jamrus-Kassim returned $25,503 to a 90-year-old Renton woman after the woman complained to the Insurance Commissioner’s Office. The complaint and another alert prompted the state investigation.

Th authorities said Jamrus-Kassim scammed five victims — people from Bellevue, Renton and Seattle — seniors ranging in age from 74 to 90.

Investigators from the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office and the Washington State Patrol arrested Jamrus-Kassim in March.

The search for the defendant started early March 15 in Issaquah. Jamrus-Kassim used to reside in the Issaquah Highlands, but moved to Kent before the arrest. Investigators later arrested her at a Starbucks in Factoria. The house in Issaquah happened to be for sale at the time.

Jamrus-Kassim is due in King County Superior Court again Nov. 18 for sentencing.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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