White-Collar Crime

Disbarred lawyer charged with client insurance settlement theft is jailed after return from Taiwan

A now-disbarred lawyer charged in December with stealing a significant portion of a client’s $500,000 insurance settlement has returned from Taiwan to defend the case.

Edward Joseph Callow, 39, fled to that country before he was charged on Dec. 12, along with a Nationwide insurance claims adjuster. Callow returned after he was tracked down by the Washington state insurance commissioner and federal agencies and told by local authorities in Taiwan that he had to leave, reports the Enumclaw Courier-Herald. Callow was arrested on Tuesday night after he flew into SeaTac International Airport and is being held in the King County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

His co-defendant, claims adjuster Fariborz “Romeo” Rahrovi, who no longer works for Nationwide, faces the same charges of first-degree theft, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft, money laundering, perjury and obtaining a signature by duress.

The two men are accused of taking $335,000 of a $500,000 settlement paid by Nationwide on behalf of Callow’s then-client, who was left permanently disabled by an auto accident, the newspaper reports. Authorities say Callow got $200,000 and Rahrovi $135,000 and the attorney allegedly altered documents to misrepresent to his client, who was paid only $165,000, that the total amount of the settlement was $250,000.

Rahrovi pleaded not guilty in January; Callow at last report had not yet been arraigned in the King County Superior Court case. The article doesn’t include any comment from their lawyers.

It isn’t clear how the matter came to the attention of authorities. The article says the client knew nothing of the claimed theft until he was contacted by the state insurance commissioner.

Hat tip: Claims Journal

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