Yakima County Courthouse

The Yakima County Courthouse.

YAKIMA, Wash — A Selah woman could have charges of filing a false insurance claim dropped if she stays out of trouble for the next year and completes community service requirements.

Tara Lee Tillett was allowed to enter into a felony diversion agreement, according to court documents and the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Tillett was charged in February with attempted first-degree theft and filing a false insurance claim after authorities said she added collision coverage for an SUV in April 2018 — eight minutes after her son had crashed it — and attempted to file a claim the next day, according to court documents.

In her claim, Tillett had said the crash took place an hour after she had made the change to her insurance policy, the documents said, but insurance regulators said police call logs and collision reports revealed the policy was amended after the crash.

Tillett’s insurer did not pay the $5,300 claim.

Under the terms of the diversion agreement, Tillett must pay a $90 monthly supervision fee and complete 30 hours of community service before May 18, 2020, in order to have the charges dropped. If she does not, or commits another crime, prosecutors can rescind the agreement and take the case to court, where police records will be the only evidence allowed.

She was one of two Yakima County residents charged with insurance fraud in February. The trial of William Edwin Gaethle, 45, of Yakima for theft and filing a false claim is set for later this month.

Gaethle is accused of filing a false theft claim for a company van that was owned by an employee.


Every day Yakima Police officers respond to hundreds of calls, and here you can see details of the last 30 days of incidents.

Reach Donald W. Meyers at dmeyers@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: donaldwmeyers, or https://www.facebook.com/donaldwmeyersjournalist/