A local real estate closing agent was sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this week after he pleaded guilty to 222 counts of forgery after embezzling more than $100,000 from Crye-Leike customers over the years.
Robert Todd Jackson, 40, is a former manager of the Realty Title Conway branch. He was arrested in late July after being suspected of embezzling funds from customers and ultimately pleaded guilty on Tuesday.
Jackson pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea deal and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He also has a 10-year suspended sentence and was ordered to pay back $30,000 in restitution.
Online records show that authorities were first notified on June 12 of the suspicions against Jackson, who also goes by the alias of Robert T. Johnson.
Fran Curtis, the vice president at general manager at Realty Title in Little Rock, contacted the Conway Police Department regarding a closing agent who she believed was stealing from the company. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court last month, the alleged thefts date back to December 2014, collectively totaling $141,556.42 through June 14, 2018.
When the initial complaint filed against Jackson was filed, it was believed he’d embezzled $45,000. Through the investigation, an audit later showed a larger sum was taken from customers over a three-and-a-half-year period.
“These crimes did not occur from an outside source, according to Curtis,” the affidavit reads in part. “Curtis and others in the financial division of Crye-Leike believe that Robert T. Jackson is the individual who is stealing from within the company. Jackson, a resident of Conway, is reported to have stolen around $45,000 ... from the company through various means.”
Jackson was fired from his position within the company on June 13. Following his termination, Curtis contacted CPD after collecting documents and other statements regarding closings conducted by Jackson to supplement the investigation.
According to the allegations against Jackson (Johnson), he was issuing checks to himself for reasons other than those listed in the ledger balances, including various amounts for repairs, taxes and termite inspections.
“Most of the checks were just issued to him for no apparent reason listed on the ledger,” the affidavit states. “All of the checks were reported as fraudulently written from the Title Company, by Mr. Johnson.”
Further evidence collected through the company’s audit along with seizing Jackson’s bank records showed he’d reportedly embezzled $141,556.42 through the years.