Owner of Bellevue real estate company pleads guilty in fraud case

The owner of a real estate transaction company in Bellevue admitted in federal court yesterday that she defrauded financial institutions of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

Jennifer Groneck, 47, of Fort Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Groneck acknowledged that she stole nearly $650,000 from various banks and a mortgage lender, the news release said.

Groneck coordinated real estate transactions on behalf of the buyer, seller, mortgage lender and real estate agents. After a house was sold, her company was responsible for disbursing all the money collected at settlement and to pay off the existing mortgages on the property, thus clearing the property title for new buyers.

Instead of paying off a seller's mortgage, she stole the money that was wired to her from the buyer's bank and used it to pay off mortgages on other properties that she failed to pay from previous transactions, the release said.

Groneck is to be sentence May 3 in U.S. District Court in Covington.