Seattle Attorney Pleads Guilty to Insurance Settlement Theft

June 25, 2014

Seattle private law attorney Edward Joseph Callow, 39, pled guilty in King County Superior Court to five felonies including conspiracy, two counts of first degree theft, money laundering, and obtaining a signature under duress or deception, related to the theft of his client’s insurance settlement. Callow is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11 in King County Superior Court. He faces five years in prison.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) helped apprehend Callow, who fled the United States in December 2013 and was returned from Taiwan in March. Callow and former Nationwide Insurance Claims Associate Fariborz (Romeo) Rahrovi were charged on Dec. 12, 2013, with first-degree theft, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, money laundering, perjury and obtaining a signature by duress. Callow stole the bulk of a Nationwide insurance settlement paid to his client, an auto accident victim who was left permanently disabled, unable to work and without a pension; Rahrovi is accused of aiding in the theft and profiting from it.

“This crime is particularly offensive because an attorney used his position of trust to prey on a victim,” said Kreidler.

Nationwide in 2010 paid Callow’s client a $25,000 advance and a $500,000 settlement. Callow altered documents to show his client that Nationwide paid a $250,000 settlement, of which the client agreed to pay 33 percent in attorney’s fees; Callow paid his client $165,000, roughly one-third of the total settlement.

Rahrovi, the Nationwide employee, took $135,000 of the settlement for his role in the scam, according to court documents. Nationwide fired Rahrovi in November 2012. Rahrovi pled not guilty to the charges in January 2014 and is awaiting trial.

Callow kept the $25,000 advance and the remaining $200,000 of the settlement through a series of transactions in various accounts and names. Callow has since been disbarred. He remains in custody at King County jail.

Source: Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

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