48.135.030  <<  48.135.040 >>   48.135.050

RCW 48.135.040

Program implementation—Commissioner's authority—Limited authority peace officers.

(1) The commissioner may:
(a) Employ and train personnel to achieve the purposes of this chapter and to employ legal counsel, investigators, auditors, and clerical support personnel and other personnel as the commissioner determines necessary from time to time to accomplish the purposes of this chapter;
(b) Initiate inquiries and conduct investigations when the commissioner has cause to believe that insurance fraud has been, is being, or is about to be committed;
(c) Conduct independent examinations of alleged insurance fraud;
(d) Review notices, reports, or complaints of suspected insurance fraud activities from federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies, persons engaged in the business of insurance, and any other person to determine whether the reports require further investigation;
(e) Share records and evidence with federal, state, or local law enforcement or regulatory agencies, and enter into interagency agreements;
(f) Conduct investigations outside this state. If the information the commissioner seeks to obtain is located outside this state, the person from whom the information is sought may make the information available to the commissioner to examine at the place where the information is located. The commissioner may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the information on behalf of the commissioner, and the commissioner may respond to similar requests from officials of other states;
(g) Administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records that the commissioner deems relevant or material to an inquiry concerning insurance fraud;
(h) Report incidents of alleged insurance fraud disclosed by its investigations to the appropriate prosecutorial authority, including but not limited to the attorney general and to any other appropriate law enforcement, administrative, regulatory, or licensing agency;
(i) Assemble evidence, prepare charges, and work closely with any prosecutorial authority having jurisdiction to pursue prosecution of insurance fraud; and
(j) Undertake independent studies to determine the extent of fraudulent insurance acts.
(2) The fraud program investigators who have obtained certification as a peace officer under RCW 43.101.095 have the powers and status of a limited authority Washington peace officer.
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