Ex-owner of Avoca title insurance firm gets prison time for mail fraud

By Joe Dolinsky - [email protected] | July 17th, 2017 9:59 pm

SCRANTON — A former Luzerne County attorney and business owner was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for defrauding homeowners by issuing invalid insurance policies.

Susan C. Kevra-Shiner, 48, of Clarks Summit, was convicted on seven counts of mail fraud following a three-day trial in January. She must serve three years probation following her release, U.S. District Judge Malachy E. Mannion ordered.

According to prosecutors, Kevra-Shiner handled real estate transactions as owner and operator of Avoca-based title insurance company GK Abstract. She began issuing title insurance policies in 2003 as an authorized agent of the Stewart Title Guaranty Company, a Texas-based title insurance underwriter.

But when her agreement with Stewart was terminated in 2008, Kevra-Shiner fraudulently issued invalid policies to 69 victims while collecting $67,957, prosecutors said. A judge ordered her to pay full restitution.

According to court documents, prosecutors were seeking a sentence in the guideline range of 30-37 months based on factors that included Kevra-Shiner’s position of trust and unwillingness to accept responsibility.

They argued that in addition to taking the case to trial “based on false and frivolous defense theories,” she gave false testimony and attempted to mislead the jury by claiming she did nothing wrong, court documents say.

A sentencing memorandum filed by the defense challenged prosecutors’ assessment of the sentencing guidelines.

Kevra-Shiner’s law license was suspended in 2013.


By Joe Dolinsky

[email protected]

Reach Joe Dolinsky at 570-991-6110 or on Twitter @JoeDolinskyTL