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Ex-president of escrow company pleads guilty to fraud

March 16, 2021 GMT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The former president of a Virginia escrow and title company has pleaded guilty to misappropriating $715,000 in closing funds connected to transactions for which she was the settlement agent.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Norfolk said Tammy Hamrin, 57, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Monday.

Hamrin, formerly known as Tammy A. Cheek, was the president of Preferred Escrow & Title in Virginia Beach.

Hamrin misappropriated closing funds from the company’s escrow account by making seven unauthorized wire transfers to different parties at the request of a person Hamrin had an “online personal relationship” with, the release said.

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The release said Hamrin put approximately $199,000 of her own money back into the the escrow account, leaving it with a shortage of $516,000. The shortage left 48 real estate closings with insufficient funds.

Hamrin is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, the news release said. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.