Ray Wersching, once the kicker with the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League, and a former Farmers Insurance agent, has been charged with insurance fraud, tax evasion, and the hiring of a convicted felon to handle the insurance business at his agency, including the deposit and transfer of premium money.
The six-count indictment alleges that between 1997 and 2000, Wersching embezzled and misappropriated over $8 million in premiums that should have been paid to the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. He is also charged with evading taxes on $3.6 million in corporate income for 1999 and 2000.
United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan, California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, IRS Special Agent in Charge Roger Wirth, and FBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Ford announced the indictment.
According to the indictment, Wersching falsified and altered documents and records of his business in order to steal premium money owed to Farmers. Wersching also allegedly transferred premium money to the operating account of his company, instead of remitting the funds to Farmers. The 55 year old Wersching is charged with embezzling and misappropriating over $456,000 of premiums belonging to Farmers in 1997; over $1.2 million in such premiums in 1998; over $3 million in such premiums in 1999; and over $3.4 million in such premiums in 2000, all by failing to remit the premiums to Farmers as required by the company’s policies and procedures.
The Investigation Division of the California Department of Insurance launched the investigation in 2001. It was then joined by the FBI and IRS who lead interviews of over 200 witnesses, and served more than 60 search warrants.
Allegedly, Wersching was the owner of the Ray Wersching Insurance Agency located in Redwood City, California, and was appointed an agent of the Farmers Insurance in February 1995. Farmers terminated this appointment in March 2001.
He faces one count of willful embezzlement and misappropriation of insurance funds; one count of willfully permitting the participation in business of insurance by a person previously convicted of a felony involving dishonesty; two counts of tax evasion, and two counts of failure to file a corporate tax return (1999 and 2000).
A summons was issued to Wersching, to appear in court on March 27, 2006, at 9:30 a.m.
The former co-owner of Wersching Insurance Agency, Mary Ann Locke (a.k.a. Mary Ann Diaz) was charged in a ten-count indictment on August 25, 2005, with insurance fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Further information on the charges against Locke and Wersching is available at: www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
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