Title company head sentenced for fraud in New Hampshire
Robert Steuk, formerly of Exeter, N.H. was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment on one count of wire fraud to which he pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. Steuk will be placed on supervised release for a period of three years and he was also ordered to pay restitution of $930,946.90. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Steuk operated Warranty Title Company LLC, a title services company that primarily focused on closings relating to the refinancing of real estate. Warranty Title was a subsidiary and the largest agent of Chicago Title Inc. On Aug. 9, 2007, Steuk contacted Chicago Title and requested additional funds for the business in order to maintain Warranty Title's solvency. Steuk admitted that he had been illegally transferring funds from the escrow accounts to the operating account. An audit of Warranty Title's escrow account determined that from April 1, 2005-Aug. 9, 2007, Steuk misappropriated funds from at least 36 victims, resulting in the closure of Warranty Title. Steuk repaid a portion of the misappropriated funds, but remains responsible for the repayment of $930,946.90. "Bringing to justice those who commit mortgage fraud in any of its various forms is a priority of the New Hampshire U.S. Attorney's office," said U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas. "Prosecutions like this will help restore confidence in our real estate and securities markets, deter future acts of fraud, and provide restitution to victims.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra M. Walsh and Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Feith prosecuted the case, part of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) and the New Hampshire U.S. Attorney's Mortgage Fraud Task Force, both of which are aimed at combating financial crimes. For more information, visit www.usdoj.gov.