On August 31, 2015, the owner of a now-defunct New Jersey title company pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree theft and second-degree misconduct by a corporate official for failing to make required disposition of settlement funds. The investigation was spearheaded by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau. Charges were brought by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office in the New Jersey Superior Court in Middlesex County.
The title owner admitted that in early 2014, he failed to use settlement funds entrusted to him to pay off at least 28 outstanding mortgage loans. The unpaid funds totaled approximately $7.7 million. The owner diverted the funds for his own use or the use of the title company. Under the plea agreement, the owner faces a total sentence of 11 years in state prison. He also must surrender his state insurance license and enter a civil judgment to pay $7.7 million in restitution.