|By Margaret Baker and Robin Fitzgerald, The Sun Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
U.S. District Judge
Colson pleaded guilty in March to falsifying, concealing and covering up material facts in his business and legal dealings.
Colson, as the owner of
Colson also was an escrow agent for condominium developments in
As a part of his responsibilities as a settlement agent, he was required to set up trust accounts to disburse money from individual loans.
A federal investigation showed he had diverted money from trust accounts into personal accounts and hidden any shortages in the accounts by co-mingling funds from other accounts when he made payments to financial institutions, according to a joint press release from the
The scheme, officials said, began in summer 2004 when Colson obtained a mortgage loan using property in his name as collateral.
Colson issued a loan policy on that mortgage and later sold the property for cash but did not inform the bank that held the lien, according to the charging document.
He continued to make a mortgage payment until the sale was discovered when he filed for bankruptcy in
A title insurance company later paid
Officials said Colson was involved in a larger scheme of using money from new real estate closings to pay off earlier closings. Colson had served as the agent of a title insurance company that later changed hands, and an audit revealed his title companies had a shortage in money for settling real estate closings.
As a result, officials said the title insurance company that took over was forced to pay 54 claims from lenders, borrowers and sellers and won a claim against him in
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