Richard G. "Rick" Burton, 60, Nixa, Missouri, and Kathy Cyrena Allen, also known as Kathy Stanton, 53, Sarcoxie, Missouri, the owners of Guaranty Title, formerly headquartered in Nixa, Missouri, have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in $4.1 million wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering conspiracies.
The defendants were sentenced in separate hearings before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. Burton was sentenced to six years and six months in federal prison without parole. Allen was sentenced to three years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Burton and Allen to pay $4,150,663 in restitution, for which they are jointly and severally liable.
Burton and Allen participated in a scheme to defraud financial institutions and individuals of more than $4.1 million through a series of illegal financial transfers related to stolen escrow payments. They attempted to conceal their criminal activities through a substantial check-kiting scheme. Both Burton and Allen pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Allen also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Burton was the president and majority owner of Guaranty Title Company of Southwest Missouri, Guaranty Title Company d/b/a Guaranty Title and Closing Company, and Guaranty Properties, Inc. The companies, referred to collectively as Guaranty, provided real estate title and closing services. Allen, who had a 42 percent ownership interest in Guaranty, was the vice president during the time of the conspiracy. Guaranty's main office was located in Nixa, with at least 10 branch offices located in Aurora, Branson, Mount Vernon, Ozark, Springfield and Republic, Mo.