Indictment: Escrow Company Owner Defrauded Clients Out of More Than $2 Million

The owner of what was once one of the state’s largest title companies is facing federal fraud charges. Prosecutors say he swindled clients out of more than $2 million over an eight-year period.

Prosecutors say Garry Christopher Forsythe started defrauding his clients in 2000. His business handled escrow—moving money between buyers of real estate and their lenders. The company had seven offices around Middle Tennessee, processing more than 200 transactions every month. But according to the indictment, Forsythe used the escrow money to pay himself and support the day-to-day operations of his firm. By 2007, escrow checks started to bounce. The company was placed in receivership a year later, after insurers found accounting discrepancies. Prosecutors say employees were unaware of the scheme. Forsythe is now charged with six counts of wire fraud and three counts of bank fraud. If convicted, he could face 30 years in jail and a $1 million fine.

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