Title Insurance Company President Sentenced to Federal Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 21, 2013|
ORLANDO—Senior U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp sentenced Douglas Wayne Bartle, III, also known as Ridgely Douglas Bartle and Douglas Wayne Bartle, Jr. (49, Winter Park), to 20 months in federal prison for wire fraud. The court also ordered Bartle to pay $862,770.12 in restitution to his victim. Bartle pleaded guilty on November 27, 2012.
According to court documents, in 2004 Bartle and others opened a title insurance company named Vision Title. Vision Title had offices in various counties throughout Florida. The offices were formed as Florida limited liability companies (Vision LLCs). In 2009, to cover living and other personal expenses, Bartle embezzled money from Vision Title’s escrow account. To ensure that Vision Title’s insurance underwriters were unaware of the theft, Bartle used a computer in Orange County, Florida, to access the Internet and obtain bank statements on computer servers in North Carolina. Bartle then altered those bank statements and provided copies to Vision Title’s insurance underwriters.
These fraudulent bank statements prevented the insurance underwriters from detecting the fraud and caused the insurance underwriters to allow Vision Title to stay in business. As Vision Title continued to operate, Bartle was able to steal more money. Because of Bartle’s actions, Vision Title had insufficient funds to cover claims that could have been made on title insurance issued by Vision Title. When law enforcement detected the fraud, Vision Title offices throughout Florida were immediately shut down. Vision Title employees lost their jobs with no advance notice. In total, Bartle embezzled approximately $1.1 million.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent A. Citro.