U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
(215) 861-8200
July 23, 2015

Former Owner of Title Agency Charged with Defrauding Lenders

PHILADELPHIA—Richard C. Roney, Jr., 46, of Laurel Springs, New Jersey, was charged today by information with four counts of wire fraud related to an alleged scheme that cost lenders more than $750,000, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.

Roney was the owner of a title company called Park Avenue Abstract, Inc., based in Somerdale, New Jersey, which served as the title company on home mortgage transactions. According to the information, between June 2009 and April 2013, Roney unlawfully withdrew money from his company’s escrow accounts for his personal use and to pay for Park Avenue Abstract’s operating expenses, instead of using that money to close the mortgage transactions.

It is further alleged that while Roney returned much of the money, his misuse of Park Avenue Abstract escrow account funds prevented Park Avenue Abstract from timely satisfying outstanding first mortgages, which ultimately caused lenders to sustain actual losses of over $750,000.

Roney faces a likely advisory sentencing guideline sentence of 27-33 months, as well as a $4,000,000 fine, a $400 special assessment, and full restitution of as much as $751,750.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe.

An information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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