September 1, 2014

Elyria
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Former Lorain County title agents sentenced for fraud

COLUMBUS – Two former Lorain County title agents will serve prison time for their role in insurance fraud.

Gregory R. Klima, of Avon Lake and the co-owner of Title Access, was sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland for his role in diverting $290,484 from an escrow account for personal use, according to a press release from the Ohio Department of Insurance. Klima was sentenced to 18 months incarceration and three years of probation.

His business partner, Timothy R. Grodzik, of Columbia Station, was sentenced on Nov. 12 to 15 months in prison and three years of probation, according to the release.

They have been ordered to pay full restitution.

“The individuals found guilty in this case repeatedly broke the law and stole nearly $300,000,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor said. “Fortunately their fraudulent scheme has been brought to an end and the two have been brought to justice thanks to the work of the Department and the investigative team.”

According to the release, an investigation by the Ohio Department of Insurance, Northern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI found that Klima and Grodzik defrauded a title insurance company and 27 parties to real estate transactions by diverting funds from Title Access’ escrow account between December 2009 and February 2011.

Documents were falsified to conceal from the title insurance company auditor that they diverted funds for their personal benefit, according to the release.