This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A federal judge in Nevada has sentenced a Utah man to nearly three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to embezzling about $4 million from escrow accounts linked to his title insurance company.
Christopher Durling of Sandy also was ordered to repay $3.96 million during his sentencing hearing this week in Las Vegas.
Under a plea deal, Durling pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Durling was the owner of a title insurance company in Nevada from which he admitted drawing from escrow accounts set up for real estate purchases and using the funds for personal expenses.
By late 2010, Durling no longer was able to cover the losses and the title company couldn't complete 12 real estate transactions.
Durling operated Direct Title Insurance Agency, which also had offices in Utah, Texas, Indiana, Nebraska and California.
Nebraska revoked Durling's insurance license for repeated violations of state laws, and California in 2010 denied an application for an escrow license there, citing his failure to completely disclose the circumstances of the Nebraska action.
He also was sued in Colorado over the missing funds and agreed to repay $3.9 million but then failed to make the first payment, court documents show.