Theft of escrow funds nets 12 years in prison

Real estate brief

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The former owner of an Ohio title insurance agency has been sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $7 million in restitution for allegedly stealing escrow funds from hundreds of individuals and businesses.

Steve Clayton, the former owner of Equity Land Title Insurance Inc., allegedly used a check kiting scheme from 1995 to 2002 to pay previously closed real estate transactions for which he had already spent the funds.