OGDEN -- A title company owner charged with the theft of $325,000 in client funds is working toward a resolution of the charges, according to his defense attorney.
"We're trying to keep this as low profile as possible," said Camille Neider, lawyer for Russell Charles Maughan. "We may have more to say later, but for now I'll just say he's really trying to fix things, to put everything back together.
"We're doing everything we can to make everyone whole."
Maughan, 58, is charged with theft and obstruction of justice regarding $325,000 his Home Abstract and Title Co. held for the Weber School District after the sale of district property to the city of Huntsville last fall.
Maughan was arraigned Wednesday on the charges in 2nd District Court before Judge W. Brent West, but the case has been transferred to Judge Noel Hyde, who will set a date for a status conference.
Maughan is acquainted with West, presenting a potential appearance of conflict of interest, Neider said. "He's done so much business in the community that almost everyone knows him," she said.
The investigations stem from the school district's sale last year to Huntsville of about 6 acres of vacant land where a Huntsville school once stood. The property is between First and Second streets across from Huntsville Park.
Ogden police investigated when the school district never received the proceeds from the sale, Deputy Weber County Attorney Branden Miles said. The allegations are that Maughan misappropriated the money for his business and personal use.
"He moved the money to an operating account and made use of it over a matter of months," Miles said
Maughan's Home Abstract and Title is a 104-year-old company housed in the Weber Building at 2380 Washington Blvd., Suite 200.
The business, next door to the Weber County Attorney's Office, was closed about a month ago by its underwriter, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, based in Minneapolis, said Tammy Greening, an examiner for the Utah Insurance Department, which is also investigating Maughan.
She said Old Republic officials notified the Utah Insurance Department, sparking the state investigation.