David Goodhue, KeysNet.com
An owner of a mortgage title company with offices in Homestead and Key Largo is facing up to 90 years in prison for allegedly stealing money from one of her client’s escrow accounts.
State Division of Insurance Fraud detectives say Marie L. Girard, 52, owner of Girard Title Company, used more than $580,400 from a Minnesota client’s mortgage escrow account for her own personal use.
The couple, Paul and Peggy Bruci, did not discover what was going on until they received a notice of foreclosure on their home they refinanced through Girard on Buttonwood Circle in Key Largo.
Detective John Swope wants to know if there are any more victims out there. If you suspect you were victimized by Girard or any other title agent, call (954)-321-2995. Girard could not be reached for comment. She was booked into Monroe County jail on Monday, and bailed out later that day, Swope said. She was held on a $125,000 bond.
According to Girard’s arrest warrant, Girard was the closing agent for the refinancing on the Bruci’s home in May 2008. The couple was obtaining a loan from Bank United FSB for the house. Girard was acting as an agent for First American Title Insurance Company.
That company was responsible for paying the Bruci’s first mortgage under the refinancing agreement, according to the arrest warrant submitted by Swope.