Owner of Cape Coral title company sentenced to prison for fraud
The owner of a Cape Coral title company will serve a 46-month prison sentence for wire fraud and illegal monetary transactions and must forfeit more than $1.4 million he profited by his actions.
U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Barber sentenced Johnny Fior, 48, Friday. As part of his sentence, the court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $1,404,169.74, which were the proceeds of the wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction offenses. Fior plead guilty on January 18.
According to court documents, Fior committed the fraud by engaging in two different fraud schemes. With the first scheme, Fior convinced two individuals, by false and fraudulent pretenses, to serve as private investors/lenders for short-term balloon loans that were secured by mortgages on real properties in Lee County.
To accomplish the scheme and give the investors the impression that their funded loans were secured by real property, Fior fraudulently filed fictitious mortgage deeds, promissory notes, and mortgage satisfactions.
Additionally, Fior provided the investors interest-only payments to further delay repayment of the loans and requested loan repayment extensions to further prolong the scheme. Fior diverted the investors’ funds for his own personal use and none of the funds were used for their intended purpose.
In the second scheme, Fior, in his role as a real estate closing agent, diverted funds intended to be used to pay off property sellers’ existing mortgages to himself during real estate closings.
In furtherance of the scheme, Fior created and caused the creation of real estate settlement statements that falsely represented a seller’s mortgage was repaid during the real estate closing process.
Additionally, Fior created fake and fictitious bank statements, lender correspondence, wire transfer records, cashier’s checks, deposit records, and shipment records that fraudulently represented a seller’s mortgage had been paid or that the mortgage pay-off funds were submitted.
As a result of the second scheme, two separate title insurance companies suffered a total loss of approximately $977,330.23.
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