Don Souders & Rob Donchez in the Media

Posted October 10, 2023

  • Don Souders & Rob Donchez in the Media

Firm partners, Don Souders and Rob Donchez, have been in the local Lehigh Valley media regarding a lawsuit where a Lehigh County title agent is accused of misappropriating $5.6 million of his clients’ funds.

The lawsuit was filed by Fidelity National Title against Louis Belletieri and Legacy Title of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Belletieri was a title agent for Fidelity National Title and, in this capacity, owed a fiduciary duty to buyers, sellers and third-parties in multiple real estate transactions in the Lehigh Valley. The lawsuit alleges that Belletieri used funds intended to pay for real estate transaction costs such as mortgage-payoffs, property taxes, net proceeds and utilities for personal use including sports gambling and for the purchase of gold bars and coins.

While Don and Rob are not currently involved in this particular lawsuit, they do represent a woman who is a victim of Belletieri’s alleged misdeeds.  The client went to cash a $224,000.00 net proceeds check from Legacy from the sale of her late mother’s home.  The check bounced, and the client subsequently learned that the remaining mortgage in the amount of $145,000.00 was never paid by Legacy. The buyers took occupancy of the home which now remains encumbered by the client’s mortgage.

Don and Rob think that their client is just one of many victims. In fact, several people have contacted the firm with stories similar to the client’s. Don says, “I’ve described it to friends and colleagues as the most egregious white-collar crime that I’ve seen during my years in the Lehigh Valley.”

The firm, through Donchez and Souders, is evaluating all options to the current and prospective clients, including the initiation of new litigation against Belletieri, Legacy and Fidelity, intervention in the aforementioned case and cooperation with state and federal law enforcement agencies. In the event there are victims of this horrific fraud scheme, they should contact Rob or Don, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office or submit a claim directly to Fidelity with the firm’s assistance. Anyone who has conducted business with Legacy Title in 2023 should confirm that all third-party payments such as mortgage-payoffs and taxes have, in fact, been made.

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