Sept. 26--An insurance agent from Bremo Bluff has been charged with 13 counts of mail fraud, according to the United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Virginia.
Graham Hutson Messer, 32, was charged in a sealed indictment by a grand jury, according to federal officials. The indictment was unsealed after Messer was arrested, according to officials.
Messer claimed to sell insurance from companies including the Farmers Insurance group, Chartis Inc. and Nautilus Insurance Group, according to officials. The indictment alleges he told clients to send their payments directly to him, claiming he'd pass them along, but took them for his own use, leading people to believe they had insurance coverage that didn't exist, according to federal officials.
He operated from a post office box in Bremo Bluff and offices in Florida and on Berkmar Drive in Albemarle County.
According to the indictment, the victims were the Piedmont House -- a Charlottesville halfway house -- and a pair of hauling companies.
Messer faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.
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