August 15, 2014
OLYMPIA, Wash. – A King County Superior Court judge today sentenced Seattle private law attorney Edward Joseph Callow, 39, to 24 months in prison and ordered him to pay $167,500 in restitution for his role in scamming a client who was injured in a collision that left her permanently disabled.
The judge also ordered Callow to pay attorney fees for his former client. Callow admitted to stealing $360,000 from her in the scam.
In July, Callow pled guilty to five felonies including conspiracy, two counts of first-degree theft, money laundering, and obtaining a signature under duress or deception. Callow has been in King County jail since March 2014. He is required to pay 10 percent of the restitution within 45 days of his release from jail and he is responsible for attorney fees the victim has or will incur in trying to recoup the insurance settlement.
Callow will get credit for time served in jail.
“Stealing from consumers doesn’t fly in Washington state,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Even Taiwan wasn’t far enough away for this fraudster to escape justice.”
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; Rahrovi is accused of aiding in the theft and profiting from it.
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.
You can report suspected insurance fraud in Washington state to Kreidler’s office.