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Former Mo. Gov. Wilson pleads guilty to misappropriating insurance co. funds

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Updated at 9:10 p.m. and bumped up for visibility

Roger Wilson pleaded guilty late Thursday afternoon to a single count of misappropriation from an insurance company. His sentencing is set for July 9 at 1:30 p.m.

Our earlier story:

The former head of the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company has been indicted for allegedly misappropriating $5,000 from the state-created workers compensation company.

US Attorney Richard Callahan announced the misdemeanor charge today against Roger Wilson. Local attorney Edward Griesedeck, with the Herzog Crebs firm, was also indicted. A third man, Douglas Morgan, was involved in the scheme but has since died.

According to the indictment, the misappropriation happened this way:

  • In the summer of 2009, Douglas Morgan, who was on the MEM board, asked Griesedeck to make a $5,000 donation to the Missouri Democratic Party and then include the cost of that donation in legal bills charged to MEM.
  • Wilson, as executive director of MEM, approved the payment of the bills, even though he knew the $5,000 was for a political donation and not for legal work.
  • Other than Douglas Morgan, no other MEM director knew about the contribution or approved any step of the process.
  • In December 2009, Morgan requested a $3,000 donation that would be reimbursed in the same way. However, the legal counsel for MEM questioned the billing  during a routine review of legal matters, and Wilson decided to reimburse Herzog Crebs from his persona funds.

The class A misdemeanor of misappropriation from an insurance company is punishable by a maximum of a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
Wilson, a former Mo. lieutenant governor and governor, was ousted as head of the MEM in June 2011. He was named to the board of the company in Jan. 2009, and then named its acting president that same June. He became CEO in 2010.

The US attorney says Missouri Employers Mutual fully cooperated in the investigation.


Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.