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Wire Scam Worked,|Texas Company Says

HOUSTON (CN) - A Houston engineering firm sued its insurer for refusing to cover it for a $480,000 wire transfer scam to China.

AFGlobal Corp. sued the Federal Insurance Co. and the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies on Monday in Harris County Court.

It claims that in May 2014 an imposter posing as its CEO emailed its accounting director Glen Wurm to wire $480,000 to a "China acquisition."

The person posing as CEO Gean Stalcup said the operation was "strictly confidential," and told Wurm not to "speak with anyone email or phone regarding this," according to the complaint.

"The imposter seemed to know the normal procedures of the company and also that Gean Stalcup had a long-standing, very personal and familiar relationship with Mr. Wurm, sufficient enough that Mr. Wurm would not question a request from the CEO," the complaint states.

None of the individuals are parties to the lawsuit - just the corporations.

Later that month the fake CEO emailed Wurm to wire an additional $18 million to the Chinese account-the Agriculture Bank of China.

"It was at this time Mr. Wurm became suspicious and told the imposter that he could not wire the funds without at a minimum informing his immediate supervisor and the company treasurer," the complaint states.

Bank of America informed AFGlobal Treasurer Perry Ewing that the $480,000 had been transferred successfully and that "the beneficiary account had been zeroed out and closed," the complaint states.

AFGlobal filed a claim in June 2014 and the defendants denied coverage in July 2014.

AFGlobal seeks punitive damages for bad faith, breach of duty, breach of contract, breach of warranty and fraud. It is represented by Jacquelyn McAnelly in Houston.

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