Thursday, March 23, 2006
Former NFL placekicker Ray Wersching was indicted in the Northern District of California on insurance fraud charges for allegedly siphoning more than $8 million in premiums from Farmers Insurance Group through his insurance agency. He is also charged with evading taxes on $3.6 million of income in his agency. Wersching was a kicker for 15 years in the NFL, including winning two Super Bowls with the San Francisco Forty-Niners. He tied the record for most field goals in a Super Bowl with four in Super Bowl XVI, when the Niners won 26-21 over the Bengals. In addition to the insurance business, Wersching is a CPA. A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office (here) states:
According to the indictment, Mr. 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. 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
Wersching was also charged with hiring a person convicted of a felony involving dishonesty -- forgery in this case -- to work in the insurance agency, a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1033(e)(1)(B). I suspect it's not a good business practice for insurance companies and agencies to hire former felons to handle other people's money, but I have to admit I never knew it was a federal crime (indictment here).
Former Lions great Alex Karras once observed about kickers, "You battle for 59 minutes, and then some little guy with a clean uniform comes in to kick a field goal to win the game, and he says, 'Hooray, I keek a touchdown.'" No touchdowns here. (ph)