COVINGTON, KY - The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Secret Service jointly announced today that the owner of a real estate transaction company in Bellevue, Ky., was sentenced to 27 months in prison for defrauding financial institutions out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
U.S. District Court Judge David L. Bunning sentenced Jennifer Groneck, 47, of Fort Thomas, Ky., for wire fraud. Judge Bunning also ordered Groneck to pay $645,964.27 in restitution which represents the proceeds of the wire fraud.
Groneck coordinated real estate closings for buyers, sellers, mortgage lenders and real estate agents. After a house was sold, her company was responsible for disbursing all the money collected at settlement. This included paying off existing mortgages on the property to clear the title.
Groneck intentionally misdirected money wired to her from the buyer’s bank and used it to pay off mortgages on other properties she had not paid because of her fraud scheme.
For instance, in April of 2011, Groneck received a money transfer of $228,914.09 from a buyer’s bank during a closing on a home in Boone County. The money was supposed to be sent to the seller’s bank to help pay off the seller’s mortgage on the home. Instead, Groneck used the money to cover the cost of other mortgages she failed to pay from previous transactions.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service. The U.S. Attorney’s Office was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura K. Voorhees.
Under federal law, Groneck must serve 85 percent of her prison sentence.