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AP Wire | 07/14/2005 | Executive pleads guilty in $70 million title insurance and trust scam
They are Intercounty-Illinois Chairman Jack L. Hargrove, 64, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the company's chief financial officer, Michel D. Thyfault, 58, of LaGrange.
was an agency headed by Capriotti and Hargrove
that sold title insurance, which mortgage lenders most often require real estate investors to buy.
Jury rules against Hargrove
Jack Hargrove, a longtime residential developer who now lives in Florida, was part owner of Intercounty National Title Insurance Co., of Chicago, which was shut down by state regulators in 2000 after real estate closing-cost checks started bouncing. Hargrove, his partner, Frankfort lawyer Laurence Capriotti, and several others have pleaded innocent to federal criminal charges that they stole more than $80 million from Intercounty and another company they controlled, Orland Park-based Independent Trust Corp.
Federal prosecutors have said Hargrove
and Capriotti ran a classic pyramid scheme - using new money in the escrow account to pay prior customers, until the flow of funds was stopped by Intercounty being shut down.
, the nation's largest title insurer, won the $1.5 million claim against Hargrove
, it had tried to collect more than $36 million in damages.
But in earlier arguments, Meenan had told jurors that Hargrove
was not responsible for Fidelity's losses and that the Intercounty escrow account shortfall was the result of a "stupid business decision" by Capriotti.
: Pleading Requirements : In Their Opinion
Lawrence Capriotti and Jack Hargrove controlled Intercounty.
Unfortunately, Capriotti and Hargrove
used the escrow funds to invest in various moneymaking schemes -- and lost a lot of money.
Capriotti and Hargrove
"fixed it" by funneling millions of dollars from trusts held by InTrust
, of which they were also directors.
The receiver recovered millions of dollars in civil suits against Capriotti, Hargrove, Intercounty, and ITI Enterprises.