A California man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to embezzling more than $10.2 from his employer and violating orders of the Court in a lawsuit against him.
Brinson Caleb “BC” Silver, 43, of Culver City, California, pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and contempt of court. As part of his guilty plea, Silver agrees to pay more than $10.2 million in restitution.
According to court documents, Silver was the Chief Marketing Officer of Root, Inc., an online car insurance company. From November 2021 through November 2022, Silver entered into contracts with four vendors for marketing services. Silver directed the vendors to send a portion of their contract proceeds to bank accounts in the names of businesses that Silver owned and controlled. Those diverted payments totaled more than $10.2 million.
Silver used the millions he embezzled to buy a $1.4 million dollar yacht, a Mercedes-Benz G550 for nearly $165,000, an amphibious plane, luxury watches and other items.
As a result of his fraud scheme, in February 2023, Root sued Silver. The Court granted a motion in his civil suit that limited him to financial transactions no greater than $5,000. Silver failed to appear in court for a hearing related to his civil suit and instead spent lavishly while traveling the globe.
His expenditures in February and March 2023 violated the Court’s orders and include $20,000 on plastic surgery, more than $25,000 at Indonesian businesses (including $8,000 at a luxury resort in Bali) and in withdrawals made in Indonesia, and more than $88,000 through PayPal to individuals. Silver also withheld from the Court information about a $1.8 million house he owned in California. During this time, Silver also made two phone calls to an “international relocation” company and asked for citizenship within a country that would not extradite him to the United States, and a foreign bank account that the United States could not freeze.
Silver was charged criminally and arrested in June 2023. Parties involved in his case have recommended a sentence range of 24 to 51 months in prison in addition to the $10.2 million in restitution.
Silver served as the company’s chief marketing officer for a year. He was let go last November when the insurer laid off 20% of its staff as part of a cost-cutting move for a company that has struggled to turn a profit since going public in October 2020. Root said the fraud was discovered after Silver left the company.
According to a report by the Columbus Dispatch, “Root hired Silver believing he was an experienced leader and would be skilled at getting maximum value for Root’s modest marketing budget for the year 2022,” the lawsuit said. Instead within days of starting his job, Silver contacted William Campbell about using Campbell’s company, Quantasy & Associates, to perform marketing services. Root paid Quantasy more than $13 million, the company said, with the money spent on marketing at Barstool Sports, ESPN and iHeart.. There’s no indication any of the money was spent with those companies on Root’s behalf.
Silver then told Campbell to transfer more than $9.4 million of that money to another company called Collateral Damage, which is owned and operated by Silver, the insurer said. Silver never told Root of the existence of Collateral, the company said.
Once the money was transferred to Collateral Damage, Silver used the funds to buy high-end homes in Miami, Florida and Venice, California in the name of another of his companies, called Eclipse Home Design, between April and August 2022 for more than $10 million, according to the lawsuit. Those purchases were funded, at least in part, by the money Quantasy sent to Collateral Damage.
Other defendants in the lawsuit include Campbell, Paige Lynette McDaniel, Silver’s sister, along with Collateral Damage, Eclipse and Quantasy.
Quantasy and Campell denied any wrongdoing. “The lawsuit alleges that Root was swindled by its own chief marketing officer, B.C. Silver, who orchestrated and controlled the alleged fraud scheme. Quantasy and Will Campbell reasonably relied on Silver’s authority as a senior officer of Root, and they were unaware that Silver was engaged in alleged deceit and self-dealing,” they said in a statement. “Quantasy and Mr. Campbell deny any complicity in Silver’s alleged scheme and will vigorously defend and prevail on the meritless claims filed against them.”