Bakersfield Man Sentenced to 57 Months in Prison for Role in Fraudulent Transfer of Funds from a Victim’s Brokerage Account
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment today against Robert Kirby Wells, 62, of Woodland, charging him with 10 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, Wells served as an insurance broker for a company located in Denver, Colorado, 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. As part of his fraudulent scheme, Wells 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.
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 secured 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.
This case is the product of 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.
If convicted, Wells faces maximum statutory 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. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.