Clarks Summit Attorney Indicted for Title Insurance Fraud
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Susan C. Kevra-Shiner, 46, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was indicted yesterday by the federal grand jury and charged with seven counts of mail fraud relating to an abstract and title insurance company she owned and operated in Avoca, Pennsylvania, known as GK Abstract Co., Inc. If convicted of the charges, Kevra-Shiner faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and/or $250,000 in fines on each count, as well as an order of restitution to the victims.
According to U.S. Attorney Peter Smith, Kevra-Shiner was an attorney admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 1994. Kevra-Shiner handled real estate transactions as part of her legal practice, and starting in 2003, she issued title insurance policies on behalf of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, a title insurance underwriter based in Texas. Stewart terminated its agency agreement with Kevra-Shiner on September 23, 2008, but the Indictment alleges that Kevra-Shiner continued to issue numerous title insurance policies to her clients after that date. As a result, the Indictment alleges that she defrauded approximately 76 homeowners and/or lenders of $72,000 in title insurance premiums which she was not authorized to receive and for which no valid title insurance policy was issued.
On February 28, 2013, the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel suspended Kevra-Shiner’s law license for four years as a result of these activities.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is assigned to Senior Litigation Counsel Bruce Brandler for prosecution.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.