Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Escrow Agent Pleads Guilty To Pocketing Over $400K From Sales Of Phony Title Insurance Policies Involving 527 Real Estate Transactions Long After Title Underwriter Terminated Outfit's Agency Contract

In St. Louis, Missouri, the Kirksville Daily Express reports:
  • Adair County Title & Escrow owner Nancy Porter has pleaded guilty to one felony count of wire fraud as part of a plea agreement in a federal case stemming from a Missouri Department of Insurance investigation that accused her of multiple violations of state law and fraudulent collection of more than $400,000.

    Porter entered the plea June 7 in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Records show she will be sentenced by District Judge Henry Edward Autrey at 11 a.m. Sept. 5.

    Terms of the plea agreement were not available.

    The government brought charges against Porter in documents filed June 7. According to the court filing, Porter sold home buyers title insurance policies supposedly underwritten by Stewart Title in 2013, 2014 and 2015, despite that company terminating its contract with Adair County Title & Escrow in December 2013.

    In the subsequent years, Adair County Title & Escrow closed 527 transactions while issuing the false policies.

    “Nancy Porter, for the purpose of executing the scheme described above, cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce a wire transfer of funds in the amount of $79,583.80 from Bank of America to the American Trust Bank Account Escrow Account of Adair County Title & Escrow,” in violation of federal law, court documents state.

    Porter signed a consent order in June 2015 from the Missouri Department of Insurance, agreeing the department had evidence to prove multiple violation of state law.

    The Missouri Department of Insurance estimates Porter’s company fraudulently collected about $420,000 in Stewart Title premiums and kept those funds in accounts belonging to other individuals.

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