The disbarment on consent of Sean Ryan McBride was only the most recent step in McBride’s downfall. In October of last year, McBride was sentenced to 63 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud. McBride was part of a scheme run by Anthony J. DeMarco, III, of Conshohocken, PA. DeMarco ran a business which claimed to assist homeowners in distress through a “sale-leaseback” arrangement in which DeMarco would buy the homes, and the homeowners would pay rent in order to continue living in the homes. DeMarco used straw purchasers to buy the homes, and used the equity in the homes to run his company and pay “lavish personal expenses.” DeMarco would then routinely default on the mortgages. McBride, a title agent in Pittsburgh operating as Settlement Engine, Inc., closed a number of loans for DeMarco. According to the indictment: “Although the settlement statements prepared by Settlement Engine for the DeMarco REI transactions routinely falsely showed that the sellers’ proceeds were disbursed to the sellers, defendant MCBRIDE routinely authorized the disbursement of the sellers’ proceeds not to the sellers by to DeMarco REI.”
Attorneys acting as title agents must be mindful that their professional licenses can be affected by their actions as title agents. Title agents can also be exposed to professional liability actions as a result of their conduct.