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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Indictment Alleges More Than $2 Million Embezzled


NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Garry Christopher Forsythe, 40, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, was indicted on January 3, 2013, by a federal grand jury and charged with six counts of wire fraud and three counts of  bank fraud, arising from his alleged embezzlement of funds from the Forsythe Title escrow accounts,  announced Jerry E. Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Forsythe is the former owner and operator of Forsythe Title and Escrow Services, Inc., a real estate closing company and title insurance agent located in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

“This case represents another example of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to prosecuting white-collar crime,” said United States Attorney Jerry E. Martin.  “Citizens and businesses in the Middle District of Tennessee can be assured that this office, along with our many valued law enforcement partners, stand committed to rooting out and prosecuting such fraud.”

According to the indictment, between December 2000 and January 2008, Forsythe received money from buyers of real properties and from mortgage lenders financing the purchase of the properties for the purpose of closing real estate transactions.  Forsythe Title acted as the settlement agent and the money received by Forsythe Title was supposed to be deposited into an escrow account and used to pay only the expenses of closing the particular real estate transaction. However, Forsythe transferred, or caused the funds from the Forsythe Title escrow accounts to be transferred to the Forsythe Title operating account.  These funds exceeded the fee income that Forsythe Title legitimately earned from the real estate transactions and were used to cover the operating expenses of Forsythe Title and to pay compensation to Christopher Forsythe. 

The indictment further alleges that Forsythe knew that the total funds in the escrow account were insufficient to cover the total amount of the checks that Forsythe Title was obligated to issue for the real estate transactions that the title company had agreed to close and that the escrow shortages would be concealed by future deposits which would cover previous transactions. 

Finally, the indictment alleged that Forsythe failed to disclose to employees of Forsythe Title and to the parties involved in the transactions, that there was a shortage of funds in the Forsythe Title escrow account, and that checks issued to pay the expenses of closing the real estate transactions would be returned by the bank because the escrow account contained insufficient funds to cover all of the checks issued.  According to the indictment, Forsythe’s scheme caused losses of approximately $2,249,294.80.

If convicted, Forsythe faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1million fine.

The case was investigated by agents with the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.  The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Webb.

An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated March 19, 2015