Title Company Owner Charged with Stealing Escrow Funds

Allison Tussey —  July 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

Jay Fischer has been charged in a criminal complaint with racketeering, embezzlement, fraud, and tax crimes. The complaint filed in Marathon County, Wisconsin, included twenty-one felony and four misdemeanor counts for Fischer‘s alleged role in misappropriating escrow funds intended to pay off prior mortgages.

According to the complaint, Fischer operated a business, known as Valley Title, previously located in Wausau, Wisconsin. Valley Title served as a closing agent for real estate transactions. Homeowners utilized Valley Title as a title agent when refinancing a mortgage or purchasing a house.

According to the complaint, Fischer received more than one million dollars from ten real estate transactions in 2009 and 2010. Fischer reportedly failed to pay off the old mortgages resulting in dual active mortgages on the homes. Fischer later satisfied two of the mortgages after the homeowners discovered dual mortgages on their properties. The complaint alleges that Fischer kept approximately one million dollars from the remaining eight mortgages.

The charge of racketeering alleges that Fischer used his business, Valley Title, to embezzle money and obtain signatures on the closing documents by fraud. The complaint also charges Fischer with failing to file individual and corporate tax returns in 2009 and 2010. Fischer no longer actively operates Valley Title, according to the investigation.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Marathon County District Attorney Kenneth J. Heimerman announced the filing of the complaint.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation and the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office investigated this case. Assistant Attorney General Winn Collins and Assistant District Attorney Ryan Wetzsteon represent the State of Wisconsin in this prosecution.

While Fischer has been charged with criminal offenses, he is presumed innocent at this time. The State has the burden to prove him guilty of the offenses beyond a reasonable doubt.

Allison Tussey

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