Kent woman asks for new attorney at scheduled sentencing for insurance scam
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
November 18, 2011 · Updated 10:18 PM
The scheduled sentencing Friday of former insurance agent Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim, of Kent, was continued until Dec. 9 after she demanded a new attorney.
It was expected that Jamrus-Kassim would be sentenced after she plead guilty Oct. 31 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.
But when Jamrus-Kassim appeared for her sentencing in Seattle, she asked King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong for a new attorney, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Prosecutors will recommend an exceptional sentence of five years, eight months based on the vulnerability of the victims. The standard sentence range is three years, seven months to four years, nine months.
Jamrus-Kassim is in custody at the county jail in Seattle.
Washington State Patrol troopers arrested Jamrus-Kassim in March in Kent. King County prosecutors charged her with 21 counts of first-degree theft.
Chicago-based Bankers Life and Casualty, one of the companies that Jasmine Jamrus-Kassim worked for as an independent agent, 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 from Bankers in January.
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 are from 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 email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.