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Largest claim to date filed in Roth estate

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WATERLOO | Money the state of Iowa paid to a Waverly couple injured in a crash with a state trooper has disappeared.

The state had settled with VerJean and Eugene Walther for $1.2 million following the April 2012 accident on C-33 in Bremer County.

The Walthers had been represented by the late attorney David Alan Roth -- who was president of the Gallagher, Langlas and Gallagher law firm at the time -- and now court records allege the majority of the money hasn’t been accounted for.

On Wednesday, the couple filed a claim for $1.89 million in Roth’s estate.

The claim is the largest to date and pushed the total to more than $8 million.

Roth, 51, took his own life in September, and more than 40 creditors and former clients have filed claims alleging unpaid bills and theft of settlements, investments and insurance proceeds.

The Walthers, now represented by attorneys Matthew Novak and Bradley Kaspar of Cedar Rapids, allege Roth settled their claims against the state for less than fair value and then misappropriated most of the proceeds.

Only $75,000 was disbursed to the couple, and it wasn’t clear if any of the money had been passed to the insurance company involved in the crash.

“The money purportedly invested in annuities has disappeared, and claimants have not received any accounting with respect to payments to subrogated insurance carriers,” the Walthers’ claim states.

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