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Jan 23,2008
Ex-cop charged with business fraud
by UPI

CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - A former Florida sheriff's deputy and his wife were charged Tuesday with stealing millions of dollars from their title company before and after they sold it.

Jarrell and Katherine Britts of Clearwater Beach were arrested in an early-morning raid by investigators from the state Department of Financial Services, the St. Petersburg Times reported. Lt. John Womer said Britts, a former deputy sheriff in Pinellas County, has been charged with grand theft, scheme to defraud, title fraud and money laundering, while his wife faces one count of grand theft.

The couple owned Eagle Title & Abstract Corp., which was located in St. Petersburg with branches in Tampa and Orlando. They sold the company in 2004 to Talon Group.

Investigators say the couple embezzled at least $2 million before the sale and another $3 million afterward while working for the new owners.

Police Det. Steve Firestone said Katherine Britts "cooked the books" while her husband did the actual stealing.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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