Bulletin: NL000092

Date:
August 16, 2000
To:
All Issuing Offices
RE:
Anti-Fraud Plan/Counterfeit Cashier's Check

Dear Associates:

This Bulletin is to advise you, in accordance with Stewart Title Guaranty Company's ("Stewart") Anti-Fraud Plan, that a Stewart policy issuing agent ("agent") in Austin, Texas was recently presented with a counterfeit cashier's check at closing. The agent received the counterfeit cashier's check from the purchaser in a residential transaction. The check appeared regular on its face, was from a national bank in California and even had an appropriate ABA routing number. The check had "Cashier" Check, printed on it. After closing and disbursement of escrow, the clearing bank notified the agent that the check was counterfeit. The agent incurred the loss and is now working with the Forgery Department of the Austin City Police to pursue prosecution of the responsible person or persons.

This Bulletin is also to advise you that the attached notice regarding other fraudulent cashier's checks was posted by the FDIC on their website at http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2000/fil0053.html . The FDIC notice involves parties different than those involved in the Austin, Texas matter.

If you suspect an attempt to defraud or a fraud should ever be perpetrated against you, your agency, or Stewart, please report the activity immediately to:

Patrick Thesing, Esq.
Chief Claims Counsel
National Legal Department
Stewart Title Guaranty Company
1980 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 710
Houston, Texas 77056
(800) 729-1902
(713) 629-2248 FAX
EMAIL:pthesing@stewart.com

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

EXHIBIT A

http://www.fdic.gov/index.html

Financial Institution Letters
SPECIAL ALERT

FIL-53-2000
August 4, 2000

TO:
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

SUBJECT:
Counterfeit Cashier's Checks

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has learned that counterfeit cashier's checks drawn on the Citizens Business Bank, 701 N. Haven Avenue, Ontario, California, are in circulation. Copies of some of the counterfeit instruments and a copy of a legitimate instrument are attached for your information. Checks received to date have been negotiated along the West Coast of the United States.

The bank's legitimate checks have the words "CASHIER'S CHECK" on the lower left side and are printed on a line printer. On the right side, the legitimate checks have the amount in large print, and a statement below the amount in smaller print near the center of the check that reads "VOID OVER" and the amount of the check.

The words "OFFICIAL CHECK" are printed in the top center of the counterfeit checks, and the bank's logo is absent. The counterfeit checks also have a border across the top that reads: "THIS INSTRUMENT HAS A COLORED BACKGROUND, VOID PANTOGRAPH AND MICROPRINTING: THE REVERSE SIDE INCLUDES AN ARTIFICIAL WATERMARK." The routing number is incorrect, and the word "Branh [sic] #25" and the address of the bank's Pasadena, California, branch appear on the counterfeit items.

Any information you have concerning this matter should be brought to the attention of:

Ms. Donna Lee Lambrose
Citizens Business Bank
701 North Haven Avenue
Ontario, California 91764
Telephone (909) 980-4030 Ext. 155
Fax (909) 481-2130

Information concerning these instruments also may be forwarded to the FDIC's Special Activities Section, 550 17th Street, NW, Room F-6012, Washington, DC 20429. For your reference, all FDIC Financial Institution Letters published since January of 1995 may be found on the FDIC's Web site at http://www.fdic.gov under "News, Events & FOIA."

James L. Sexton

Director

Attachment: (Electronic versions are not available.)
Distribution: FDIC-Supervised Banks (Commercial and Savings)
NOTE: Paper copies of FDIC financial institution letters may be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434 (800-276-6003 or 202-416-6940).
Last Updated 08/04/2000

communications@fdic.gov

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
NL000084 Stewart Title Guaranty Company Antifraud Plan
Underwriting Manual:
None
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None