Florida attorney Ira Hatch was the principal of Coastal Title Insurance Services Inc., a licensed title agency that provided title insurance policies on behalf of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp. In another role, Hatch was a manger for Lake Buena Vista Vacation Resort LC, the real estate development company that was to build the San Marco Resort Condominium Project.
In 2004 and 2005, three couples separately entered into reservation agreements for units in the project, and made reservation deposits of $15,000 each to Coastal as the escrow provider.
In 2006, each couple signed purchase agreements for their units and deposited additional monies with Coastal, which served as the escrow agent.
Construction, which was scheduled for completion in 2009, never began; the project was terminated and none of the would-be buyers received their deposit monies back.