A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday returned a 13-count indictment against a Woodland insurance broker, charging him with 10 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft, federal officials said.
Jurors indicted Robert Kirby Wells, 62, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert of the Eastern District of California said in a press release.
According to court documents, Wells served as an insurance broker for a company in Denver, Colo., that owned multifamily and commercial properties throughout the United States.
As the company’s broker, Wells was responsible for obtaining several types of insurance coverage for the company’s properties, including umbrella liability coverage, which protects against potential financial fallout of certain types of unforeseen events that lead to property damage or injury, for which the policyholder is held responsible.
As part of his fraudulent scheme, Talbert noted in the press statement, Wells is alleged to have “represented to the company that he obtained umbrella coverage for properties when, in fact, he did not.”
Although Wells did not obtain the coverage, he invoiced and was paid for purported premiums associated with adding the properties to umbrella liability policies, he added.
At times, after he received full payment for premiums associated with coverage he obtained for the company, as well as umbrella coverage he did not obtain, Wells allegedly got loans purportedly to pay for the same premiums.
“He did so by falsely representing that he was financing the premiums on the company’s behalf and using the identities of a managing principal and employee of the company without their authorization,” added Talbert.
The case stems from an investigation by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Thuesen is prosecuting the case.
Federal officials late Thursday said Wells is not in custody and his next court appearance is pending.
If convicted, he faces maximum penalties of 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and a mandatory term of two years in prison for each aggravated identity theft count. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss for each charge.