Fidelity National Financial Subsidiaries Ordered to Pay $5.7 Million in Punitive Damages for Mortgage Fraud

Fidelity, fraud, punitive damages and scheme all in the same sentence?

Who woulda thunk…

California jury orders Fidelity units to pay $5.7M

The company had been sued over a mortgage fraud scheme.

A California state court jury this week ordered two subsidiaries of Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Financial Inc. to pay $5.7 million in punitive damages after finding employees of the companies played a role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

The San Diego jury also said the two companies should pay a share of $1.1 million in compensatory damages awarded to three investors who filed suits over the scheme.

The lawsuits alleged that employees of Fidelity subsidiaries Chicago Title Corp. and Chicago Title Insurance assisted a Southern California financial planner, Rollo Norton, in fraudulently obtaining loans for a condominium project.

Norton, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud, testified that an escrow officer and a local office supervisor at Chicago Title knew what they were doing was wrong.

“We’re pleased that the jury found by clear and convincing evidence that Chicago Title employees participated in this fraud,” said Michael Kirby, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Mark Schiffman, chief litigation counsel for Fidelity, said Thursday that there were 10 claims filed against the Fidelity companies. He said after a 4½-month trial, the jury found in favor of Fidelity on six of the claims and another claim resulted in a hung jury or mistrial.

“We are of course gratified that the jury found in our favor in those cases,” he said, adding that Fidelity is “disappointed” that the jury found for the plaintiffs on the other three cases. Schiffman said the company has not yet decided if it will appeal and he could not comment further.

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One Response to “Fidelity National Financial Subsidiaries Ordered to Pay $5.7 Million in Punitive Damages for Mortgage Fraud”
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