Feds indict former manager in Missouri title firm with wire fraud

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Many financial transactions are handled electronically. Large sums of many are transferred between banks every day. Many consumers and business professionals alike use online transfers to pay bills. Allegations in a recent indictment involve electronic transfers of money to pay bills at a St. Louis title company from January 2009 until early July 2012.

Federal prosecutors claim that a former office manager at a St. Louis title company paid some company bills in the aftermath of the economic meltdown in 2008 using customer money held in an escrow account at the title firm. Investigators believe that the former office manager diverted customer money held in escrow to pay company bills.

Authorities say that as time went by, the office manager allegedly modified financial records to cover up the unlawful money transfers. The company was closed after an audit uncovered the alleged unlawful activity.

Federal officials accuse a former office manager for the company of two counts of wire fraud related to the investigation. Authorities unveiled the federal indictment Thursday.

Mail and wire fraud accusations may often involve business professionals. The offenses may involve a wide variety of different activities—based essentially on the breadth of what may allegedly fall within the scope of the mail and wire fraud statutes.

Essentially, the federal charges may involve allegations of any kind of theft of money or honest services using the mail or a form of wire communication. In some cases, allegations of mail or wire fraud may come as a tack-on charge in a federal indictment alleging other federal offenses.

In general, federal probes can continue for months and years. A person suspected of a federal offense, including a white collar offense, may wish to consult with legal counsel—even before any potential indictment is handed down—to help protect rights.

Source: St. Louis Today, “Manager at St. Louis title company indicted for diverting escrow money,” Robert Patrick, June 27, 2013

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