United States v. Westerfield, No. 12-1599 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Westerfield was a lawyer working for an Illinois title insurance company when she facilitated fraudulent real estate transfers in a scheme that used stolen identities of homeowners to “sell” houses that were not for sale to fake buyers, and then collect the mortgage proceeds from lenders who were unaware of the fraud. Westerfield facilitated five such transfers and was indicted on four counts of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343. She claimed that she had been unaware of the scheme’s fraudulent nature and argued that she had merely performed the typical work of a title agent. She was convicted on three counts. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence, to admission of a codefendant’s testimony during trial, and to the sentence of 72 months in prison with three years of supervised release, and payment of $916,300 in restitution.