Joseph Garretson To Serve Time For Mortgage Re-Financing Crimes

By Scott Sarvay

June 25, 2010 Updated Jun 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - A former Fort Wayne title insurance broker who pleaded guilty to a series of mortgage re-financing crimes is sentenced.

37-year-old Joseph Garretson will spend 11 1/2 years in prison and pay $3.4 million in restitution to his victims.

In February, Garretson admitted he conducted mortgage transactions at Fort Wayne Title and kept his clients' cash rather than pay off the old mortgages, a multi-million dollar difference.

Garretson's victims say he's left them with nothing.

Victim Alisha Thomasma says,”He kept commenting about his children. And we have four kids. And you know, his kids didn't have to answer the door to someone collecting for a mortgage. Or the sheriff has come to our house and served us foreclosure papers.”

Garretson also faces a federal lawsuit dealing with the misappropriation of his clients' title escrow funds.

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