Hendersonville Attorney Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison in Real Estate Closing Scheme
Garry Christopher Forsythe, 42, of Hendersonville, Tenn., was sentenced today to 33 months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. U.S. District Court Judge Aleta A. Trauger imposed the sentence, and also ordered Forsythe to pay $2,249,294.80 in restitution and to forfeit the proceeds of his crime.
Forysthe pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in December 2015 in connection with a scheme involving escrow funds held by his real estate closing company, Forsythe Title and Escrow. During the sentencing hearing, evidence established that the company’s escrow accounts developed shortages of more than $2.2 million because Forsythe made inflated or unsupported transfers of funds from the escrow accounts to the company’s operating accounts. Testimony during the hearing also established that, contrary to Forsythe’s position, the escrow shortages were not inadvertently caused by the failure to deposit checks or by bank errors. The evidence demonstrated that, in one instance, funds were transferred from an escrow account at Forsythe Title & Escrow and used for the down payment on a boat purchased by Forsythe. Evidence also demonstrated that the escrow shortages resulted in bounced checks, delays in scheduled real estate closings, and instances in which borrowers were left with two mortgages because Forsythe Title & Escrow failed to pay financial institutions with funds that had been provided for that purpose.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William F. Abely and Cecil W. VanDevender.