Risk & Compliance

CFO to Testify Against Boss in Escrow Theft

The CFO of a title and escrow firm admits she diverted escrow funds to pay for her own house, and agrees to testify for the Feds against her former...
Stephen TaubJanuary 21, 2008

The chief financial officer of a Minneapolis title and escrow firm pleaded guilty to embezzling $135,000, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Christine Hein, who had served as CFO of Profile Title & Escrow Corp. since 2002, admitted she diverted the sum from a secret escrow account for a down payment on her home.

Under her plea deal, the finance executive agreed to testify against the owner of Profile, Molly L. Heise. Heise was indicted last June by the Department of Justice on charges of defrauding clients and lenders of approximately $2.5 million.

According to the Star-Tribune, the two women were charged with defrauding the company’s underwriter, Chicago Title Insurance Co., by secretly depositing more than $370 million in loan proceeds in an escrow account from June 2002 through December 2003.

According to the report, Hein admitted that she wrote a check for $134,965.85 from the account for a down payment on her home. Her boss, Heise, stands accused of transferring $2 million from the account, which she allegedly spent on houses, landscaping, a Hummer, a motor home, a Wisconsin cabin and a boat, the Star-Tribune reports.

Hein faces between 21 and 27 months in prison, two to three years of supervised release, and restitution. According to the paper, her sentence could be reduced if she helps the government in its case against Heise.

CFO.com was not able to immediately locate Heise for comment.