November 21, 2014
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Former Nationwide Insurance claims associate Fariborz Romeo Rahrovi, 40, today pled guilty in King County Superior Court to two counts of theft, criminal conspiracy and money laundering related to the theft of an accident victim’s $525,000 insurance settlement.
Rahrovi is scheduled to be sentenced at on Dec. 19 in King County Superior Court. He faces up to 12 months in prison.
Rahrovi was charged after an investigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Rahrovi worked in cahoots with Seattle private law attorney Edward Joseph Callow, who represented the victim. Nationwide paid Callow’s client a $25,000 advance and a $500,000 settlement in 2010. 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.
Ultimately, Callow paid his client $165,000, roughly one-third of the total settlement.
Rahrovi pocketed $135,000 for his role in the scam, according to court documents. Callow kept the remaining $225,000.
“This was an egregious manipulation of a consumer who trusted an attorney and the insurance company to do their jobs,” said Kreidler. “I am pleased that Nationwide took appropriate action against this employee and thank them for their assistance with this investigation.”
Nationwide fired Rahrovi in November 2012. Rahrovi was charged in December 2013 and pled not guilty to the charges in January 2014.
Callow pled guilty to five felonies and in August was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $167,500 in restitution to the victim. Callow has been in jail since March, when he was detained after fleeing to Taiwan in December 2013 following charges being filed. Callow has since been disbarred and is serving his sentence in King County.
Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit investigates insurance fraud and works with the Attorney General’s Office and local prosecutors to prosecute criminal cases. Consumers can report suspected insurance fraud to the Insurance Commissioner.