After collecting $3,500 from the insurance company of a woman whose car rear-ended him, a Washington man apparently decided to return to the well — this time informing her insurer that his cat died in the accident, too.
Although more than two years had passed, he asked for $20,000 for the death of his beloved cat, Tom, and, when requested, he sent the insurance company some photos.
As it turned out, the only place he’d spent anytime with the cat, who he claimed to love “like a son,” was on Wikipedia.
Yevgeniy Samsonov, 29, was charged with insurance fraud and attempted theft, according to the Seattle Times.
According to the charges filed in Pierce County, Samsonov didn’t have a cat, and the photos he submitted to bolster his claim had both been copied from the Internet.
“We’ve handled some pretty unusual cases, but this is one of the stranger ones,” state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said in a news release.
In his initial claim, Samsonov said he required chiropractic treatment after his car was rear-ended in March 2009 while stopped at a traffic light in Tacoma. The other driver told her insurance company, Pemco, that her foot had slipped off the brake.
Two years later, Samsonov asked Pemco for more money to compensate him for his lost cat. The insurer sent Samsonov a check for $50, but Samsonov said, given the cat’s intense sentimental value, that didn’t begin to cover his loss.
When Pemco agents asked Samsonov for photos of the cat , he submitted two, which he claimed to have taken himself, according to court documents. Then a Pemco employee did a Google search and turned up the same images Samsonov had submitted, according to the insurer. The two pictures turned out to be of different cats, one from Wikipedia, and one from another website.
They refused to pay him any more money, and revoked the $50 check. Samsonov appealed to the state insurance commissioner’s office.
That led to an investigation and the filing of charges against him.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 9th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, car, cat, cats, charges, claim, death, fraud, insurance, insurers, internet, investigation, news, pets, photos, scam, strange, tacoma, washington, weird, wikipedia
South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk unveiled his latest cloning achievement yesterday – eight cloned coyotes, created by inserting the nuclei of coyote skin cells into harvested dog eggs.
The coyotes were presented to a wild animal shelter at Pyeongtaek, 35 miles south of Seoul, in a ceremony chaired by Gyeonggi province governor Kim Moon-Soo, Yahoo News reports.
The project was sponsored by the provincial government.
Hwang, whose feats and frauds are recounted in my book, “Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Man’s Best Friend,” is a former Seoul National University scientist who was fired when some of his research into creating human stem cells from a cloned embryo was found to be faked.
He was also head of the SNU research team that produced Snuppy, the world’s first cloned dog, in 2005.
I met Hwang in 2009, but wasn’t allowed to interview him, when I visited his private laboratory outside of Seoul. That’s where I took the photo of him above, after being invited to watch a dog cloning procedure.
By then, Hwang had left SNU, started his own lab and was cloning dogs for an American company that had auctioned off dog clonings to pet owners online.
The American company later went out of business, citing, among other things, animal welfare concerns and the relatively small market for dog cloning — it at the time costing $150,00 or so.
In addition to Hwang’s lab, another Korean company, RNL Bio, continues to clone dogs for pet owners, government agencies, and for medical use.
Hwang enjoyed international fame for a few years after successfully cloning the world’s first dog and for his research into human stem cells.
But his reputation was tarnished in 2005 when allegations surfaced that he had violated medical ethics by using human eggs from his own researchers. He was also found to have embezzled funds and faked some of his findings.
Despite that, he still had enough support to establish his own lab, in the mountains outside Seoul, where, while banned from further research invovling cloning human embryos, he was permitted to continue his research into canine cloning
In 2009 he received a two-year suspended sentence for embezzling research funds and ethical lapses in obtaining human eggs. Last December an appeals court reduced the penalty to an 18-month suspended sentence.
To clone a coyote, Hwang took cells from the skin of a coyote, and transplanted their nuclei into enucleated dog eggs. An electric jolt was applied to lead the cells to begin dividing, after which the eggs were implanted into surrogate mother dogs.
The first coyote clone was born on June 17.
The Gyeonggi governor praised Hwang and said further cloning projects were in the works: “The cloning of an African wild dog is under way, and we will attempt to clone a mammoth in the future,” he said.
(Photo by John Woestendiek / ohmidog!)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 18th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cells, cloned, clones, cloning, coyote, coyotes, dog, dog inc., dogs, fraud, gyeonggi, human embryos, hwang woo suk, mammoth, pets, province, research, science, seoul national university, snuppy, south korea, stem cells
A humane officer for the Humane Society of Parkersburg in West Virginia made up the story that someone threw seven puppies and an adult dog out of a moving truck on I-77, investigators said Friday.
Steven Whitehair made up the story to get publicity for the humane society, said Sgt. Shawn Graham of the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.
Whitehair reported to authorities that the agency received an emergency call from a witness who said a man was throwing dogs out of a truck going north on Interstate 77 between Rockport and Mineral Wells the morning of May 8, according to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
Whitehair also told authorities he was cleaning the mess when the alleged perpetrator returned to the scene and confessed, however, investigators could not locate the man.
“A lot of Whitehair’s statement just didn’t make any sense,” Graham said.
Whitehair, in his original report, said the unidentified suspect got into a dispute with his girlfriend about the dogs, and then threw the dogs out of the car.
Whitehair will be charged with obstruction and possibly false reporting, Graham said.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal welfare, car, dogs, fiction, fraud, highway, humane, humane society, interstate, lie, made up, officer, parkersburg, puppies, rescue, scam, shelter, steven whitehair, threw, thrown, west virginia, window, wood county