March 5, 2014
Edward Joseph Callow
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) helped apprehend a Seattle attorney who fled the United States when he was charged in December 2013 with five felonies related to the theft of an insurance settlement.
Seattle private law attorney Edward Joseph Callow, 39, and former Nationwide Insurance Claims Associate Fariborz (Romeo) Rahrovi were charged on Dec. 12 with first-degree theft, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, money laundering, perjury and obtaining a signature by duress, all felonies. The case involves the misappropriation of a $500,000 settlement and $25,000 advance from Nationwide. The money was intended for Callow’s client, a car-accident victim who was left permanently disabled, unable to work and without a pension.
Prior to being charged, Callow flew to Taiwan. SIU detectives worked with federal agencies to locate Callow in Taiwan; local law enforcement notified Callow that he had to leave the country. Callow returned to SeaTac International Airport the evening of March 4, where he was arrested and booked in King County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
“This lawyer preyed on a vulnerable consumer who relied on an insurance settlement for medical treatments and to replace income,” Kreidler said. “Now it’s time for Mr. Callow to face the criminal justice system.”
According to the charges, Nationwide in 2010 paid the victim a $25,000 advance and a $500,000 settlement; Callow’s client received just $165,000 of that amount. Callow kept the $25,000 settlement and 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.
Rahrovi, a Nationwide employee, took $135,000 of the settlement for his role in the scam, according to court documents. Callow kept the remaining $200,000 through a series of transactions in various accounts and names, according to the charges. Callow has since been disbarred.
Callow will be arraigned at a future date in King County Superior Court, at which time he will enter a plea.
Nationwide fired Rahrovi on Nov. 20, 2012. Rahrovi pled not guilty to the charges in January 2014 and is awaiting trial.
Callow’s client was unaware of the actual amount of the settlement until Kreidler’s office informed the individual. Nationwide is working with the victim on paying the full settlement.
If you think you were a victim of Edward Joseph Callow, call the Commissioner’s Special Investigations Unit at (360) 586-2570.