This Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into between the United States of America ("United States"), acting through the United States Department of Justice, and Robert R. Goods ("Goods"), (collectively "the Parties").
As a preamble to this Agreement, the Parties agree as follows:
1. Goods is a settlement attorney who handled real estate refinance closings on behalf of financial institutions including SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. ("SunTrust"). In each transaction, refinance loan funds were deposited in Goods' escrow account.
2. Goods began retaining proceeds from real estate settlement transactions in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344. Goods used funds from incoming transactions to make up the difference between the settlement funds issued by banks and the amount he retained for personal benefit.
3. Goods has an escrow account, operating account and personal bank account at First Niagara Bank. Bank records reveal internet withdrawals from Goods' escrow account which were deposited into his personal and operating accounts.
4. Despite receiving settlement funds from SunTrust Mortgage, Goods was unable to payoff two prior liens in recent refinances transacted by SunTrust. This failure caused loss to the financial institution and jeopardized its lien position on those properties.
III. SUBJECT TRANSACTIONS WITH LOSS
5. On or about February 22, 2010, borrower Craig K. MacLean obtained a refinance mortgage with Sun Trust Mortgage in the amount of $417,000. A review completed by SunTrust Mortgage revealed that Settlement Attorney, Robert R. Goods retained funds, failed to satisfy the required payoff to Sovereign Bank on the existing lien on the subject property and compromised SunTrust Mortgage's lien position on this property.
6. On or about March 25, 2010, borrower Paula Williams obtained a refinance mortgage with SunTrust Mortgage in the amount of $128,000. A review completed by SunTrust Mortgage revealed that Settlement Attorney Robert R. Goods retained funds, failed to satisfy the required payoff to US Bank on the existing lien on the subject property and compromised SunTrust Mortgage's lien position on this property.
7. Goods repeatedly retained funds sent to his escrow account by SunTrust to settle real estate refinance transactions. Goods retained funds for his personal benefit, failed to timely and appropriately pay off previous liens and failed to file security interests on properties related to SunTrust transactions. This conduct caused SunTrust actual loss and jeopardized its lien position in the subject transactions.
8. Pursuant to 12 U.S.C. § 1833a, Goods is liable for civil fraud penalties in an amount up to $1,000,000 as a result of having knowingly retained settlement funds from a financial institution for personal benefit, failing to satisfy liens on behalf of the financial institution and failing to record lien positions causing SunTrust, a financial institution, actual loss.
9. In order to avoid the delay, uncertainty, inconvenience and expense of protracted litigation of these claims, the Parties reach a full and final settlement pursuant ...