OGDEN — A former title company owner waived his preliminary hearing on accusations of embezzling as prosecutors added an additional charge.
That sparked Russell Charles Maughan’s defense attorney, Camille Neider, to say after Tuesday’s hearing in 2nd District Court, “This case is not over yet.”
Maughan, 58, was 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.
On Tuesday prosecutors added a charge of unlawful dealing by a fiduciary. Judge Noel Hyde set an Oct. 9 status conference.
Ogden police investigated when the school district never received the sale proceeds, which had been held in an escrow account maintained by Maughan. Police say Maughan misappropriated the money for his business and personal use between November last year and May this year.
Maughan’s business is located, ironically, next door to the Weber County Attorney’s Office in the Weber Building downtown. The office was closed this summer by the home office, which also contacted the Utah Insurance Department, sparking an investigation by that agency as well.
Neider wouldn’t comment on Maughan’s state license status, but said he is not working as a title officer, instead living off other means.
Neider on Tuesday also said the school district has been paid the missing money by Maughan’s insurance carrier, of which she and her client were notified this week.
“Circumstances may afford a resolution of the case or they may be circumstances a jury needs to hear,” Neider said. “Either way, it hasn’t kept him from doing everything he can to make everyone whole in this case.”
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 1st and 2nd streets across from Huntsville Park.