Industry News

Iowa woman jailed for real estate scam

Stole more than $1 million from investors

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An Iowa woman who perpetrated a complex real estate scam and stole more than $1 million from investors has been sentenced to more than six years in prison, a local news source reported today. Susan Hill of New Liberty, Iowa, in January pleaded guilty to 23 counts of wire fraud, 14 counts of money laundering and five counts of mail fraud, according to a Billings Gazette report. A judge ordered Hill pay restitution in an amount to be later determined. In May 1989, Hill purchased Mountain Escrow of Whitefish and moved the company to Hamilton. She renamed the company Mountain Financial Services and conducted business in Hamilton until 1992, at which time she changed the name of the escrow service to Cloverhill Mortgage Group and moved the business to Durant, Iowa, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office. Hill operated the escrow business out of her personal residence and had access to all the title documents in numerous real estate contract for deed transactions and ...