A real estate attorney in Lackawanna County faces possible jail time and hefty fines over charges on title insurance fraud and mail fraud, according to, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Susan C. Kevra-Shiner, 46, of Clarks Summit, Pa., was indicted last week by a federal grand jury and charged with seven counts of mail fraud relating to an abstract and title insurance company she owned and operated in Avoca, Pa., known as GK Abstract Co., Inc. If convicted of the charges, Kevra-Shiner faces up to 20 years imprisonment and/or $250,000 in fines on each count, as well as an order of restitution to the victims.
According to a press release, Kevra-Shiner was an attorney admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 1994. Kevra-Shiner handled real estate transactions as part of her legal practice, and starting in 2003, she issued title insurance policies on behalf of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, a title insurance underwriter based in Texas.
Stewart terminated its agency agreement with Kevra-Shiner on Sept. 23, 2008, but the indictment alleges that Kevra-Shiner continued to issue numerous title insurance policies to her clients after that date. As a result, the indictment alleges that she defrauded approximately 76 homeowners and/or lenders of $72,000 in title insurance premiums which she was not authorized to receive and for which no valid title insurance policy was issued.
On Feb. 28, 2013, the Pennsylvania Office of Disciplinary Counsel suspended Kevra-Shiner's law license for four years as a result of these activities.