An Ellicott City woman who stole more than $680,000 from her company to pay private school tuition for her children and other personal expenses now faces 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, according to a statement released by the United States Attorney's Office, Maryland District.
Sandy P. Kim, 43, will be sentenced in November.
According to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Kim was the owner and chief operating officer of EK Settlements in Ellicott City, and a title agent at an insurance company from 2005 to 2008. As part of her job, she was required to maintain an escrow account for real estate settlement funds from buyers and to pay off mortgage lenders.
In 2006, according to the plea, Kim started stealing money from that escrow account to pay for personal bills, including tuition for her kids’ private school, tax bills and to pay for previous loans that she had not yet settled.
According to the plea, in 2007, Kim had $175,000 from a closing wired to an account that she controlled, instead of paying off the client’s prior mortgage.
Kim used the money for herself and made smaller monthly payments toward the client’s prior mortgage to conceal the theft. Her employer had suspected impropriety and was going to audit Kim’s accounts, so Kim altered bank records, according to the plea.
According to the statement, Kim admitted what she had done to law enforcement.
In all, Kim stole $684,283 from the escrow accounts, according to the plea. She faces 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He sentencing is scheduled for November 2.
This article has been edited to indicate that the statement was released by the United States Attorney's Office, Maryland District.