Former President of Searcy Closing Company Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Mail Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2013|
LITTLE ROCK, AR—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas and Randall C. Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Little Rock Field Office announced today that United States District Judge James M. Moody sentenced Marci Ann Ingram, age 41, of Searcy, to 24 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for mail fraud related to Landmark Closing Company Inc.
Thyer said, “When someone has defrauded the citizens of their community as blatantly as Ms. Ingram did, justice will reveal the truth and restore integrity. In this case, the request for an investigation came to the Arkansas Insurance Department, whose investigators uncovered the ugly truth and brought it to the FBI for further investigation. As a result, Ms. Ingram is now facing the seriousness of her lack of veracity in her business practices.”
“Ms. Ingram betrayed those whose escrow accounts she held and, as a result, jeopardized their home ownership,” stated Coleman. “I appreciate the collective work of our agents, the Arkansas Insurance Department, and the United States Attorney who brought Ms. Ingram to justice for her actions.”
Ingram was charged by an information and pled guilty to one count of mail fraud on April 12, 2013. The charges involve activities by Ingram as president and principal shareholder of Landmark Closing Company Inc. (LCC) from 2006 through mid-2009.
During an investigation by the Arkansas Insurance Department-Criminal Investigation Division, evidence indicated that Ingram had been diverting money from an escrow account to other working accounts of LCC for personal use. As a result, the FBI was contacted to lead a federal investigation that resulted in the charge of mail fraud. According to the information, “Ingram used some of these diverted escrow funds for her own personal use to pay for trips, Arkansas Razorback tickets, Netflix, iTunes, online gambling/gaming, clothing, makeup, country club dues, Facebook certificates, and other non-business related expenditures.” In addition, Ingram used some of the escrow money to repay a personal loan from her parents. Checks issued to lienholders for legitimate payments from the escrow account were returned by the bank as insufficient due to a lack of funds. This caused Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, the company who insured the property titles for LCC, to pay $418,828.68 in claims and losses to lienholders.
Ingram pled guilty to a specific mail fraud charge of mailing an escrow check to Washington Mutual Payoff Unit, Jacksonville, Florida, in the amount of $163,157.91 in June 2009.
An order for restitution will be issued separately at a later date, after it is determined how much Ingram has repaid and how much restitution is still owed.
This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Arkansas Insurance Department-Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Tricia Harris prosecuted this case for the United States.