Discovery Channel reality TV star sentenced for insurance fraud

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POCATELLO, Idaho — Jeff J. Zausch, a reality star from Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid XL”, has been sentenced for one count of insurance fraud, Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Monday, Oct. 19.

The 28-year-old Pocatello native pleaded guilty to the felony charge Tuesday, Sept. 8. By pleading guilty, Zausch admitted he knowingly provided a false statement to his insurance company regarding the date of an automobile accident, according to a news release.

Sixth District Judge Robert Naftz gave Zausch a withheld judgment and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service. He has been placed on probation for three years. Zausch also must pay Geico Insurance $376 in restitution and pay a $1,250 fine.

EastIdahoNews.com has reached out to Zausch for comment on the sentence, and will update this story if he responds.

The attorney general’s office said Zausch wrecked his vehicle Feb. 3, 2014. An off-duty Idaho State Police officer called in the wreck. A Bannock County sheriff’s deputy responded and identified Zausch as the driver.

Zausch had his vehicle towed to his home in Pocatello on the same day, according to the news release.

Authorities say Zausch called his insurance carrier, Geico, on Feb. 4, to change his policy from liability only to full coverage. Sixteen days after the accident, the reality star added full coverage insurance to his vehicle. Zausch then contacted his insurance carrier to report he was involved in an accident on Feb. 18, and filed a claim. When filing his claim, Zausch said law enforcement did not respond to the accident.

The Geico Special Investigations Unit referred the matter to the Idaho Department of Insurance’s Fraud Investigation Unit. It was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Kendal McDevitt.

Zausch is one of the stars of Discovery Channel’s extreme survival show “Naked and Afraid: XL,” where 12 people were dropped naked into remote Columbia wilderness with the goal of surviving for 40 days. He also was a contestant on Discovery Channel’s original nude survival show, “Naked and Afraid,” which challenged a pair of strangers (one man and one woman) to survive for 21 days.

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