Monday, May 25, 2015

Real Estate Closing Agency Owner Admits Looting Cash From Escrow Account, Using Kiting Scheme To Hide His Handiwork; Title Insurance Underwriters Left Holding The Bag On $4M In Losses

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Las Vegas, Nevada):
  • A Utah man who owned a title and escrow company that operated in Nevada, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud for embezzling almost $4 million from company escrow accounts for his own personal use, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada. Christopher L. Durling, 49, of Sandy, Utah, pleaded guilty [...] to one count of wire fraud[.] Durling faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    ***

    Durling owned and operated Direct Title Insurance Agency, a title and escrow company which had offices in Nevada, Utah, Texas, Indiana, California, and elsewhere. From about March 2009 through June 2011, Durling devised a scheme to defraud various persons and entities of money and property by diverting funds from escrow accounts for his own personal use. Durling used a kiting scheme to artificially inflate the balances of office trust accounts in order to cover up the shortages that were caused by his diversion of the escrow funds.

    In late 2010, the volume of the diversions from the escrow accounts reached such a level that the kiting scheme could no longer conceal the fraud, and insurance companies had to reimburse 13 lenders approximately $4 million.

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