Former Bay City realtor accused of embezzling thousands of dolla - WNEM TV 5

Former Bay City realtor accused of embezzling thousands of dollars

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Ivan Miller Ivan Miller
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A prominent local realtor who was trusted and respected in his community is accused of embezzling thousands of dollars.

Ivan Miller, 48, is the former owner of a Bay City real estate firm - Top Producers Real Estate. He could face more than a decade in prison for stealing up to $100,000.

He was arraigned on Wednesday for embezzlement between $50,000 and $100,000 and larceny by conversion more than $20,000.

"He's doing good. He's looking forward to the chance to present his defense. Obviously there have been rumors all across the board that have come out. None of them are true," said Marcus Garske, Miller's attorney.

Police began the investigation on Miller in February.

Garske insists there is more to Miller than the criminal charges against him.

"He's been actively involved with the Bay City Lions Club doing a lot of good work for them. He's been president of the Boy and Girls Club. So he has no prior record. He has done a lot for our community," Garske said.

The legal action has sent shockwaves throughout the real estate community.

"Surprised naturally, as I think that everybody is. But at the same time you just never know what's goes on with an individual," said Bob Adamowski, CEO of the Bay County Realtors Association.

According to court records, Miller allegedly had some irregularities traced back to him involving the sale of a home on Handy Street in Bay City. When his coworkers began to figure out what was going on, he supposedly told one of them he did something very bad.

Miller was given a check from the home buyer for $84,913.70. The money was to be used to close on the house.

One of Miller's coworkers said that check was deposited in the Top Producers' general account. That money should have been placed in a trust account so the funds would be available to finalize the sale of the home. That didn't happen.

When Miller was asked what he did with the funds, he allegedly said "I spent them." He would not say what he spent the money on.

The coworker also said Miller told her both the buyer and the seller "were working it out and that it's going to be OK." However, things were not OK. Court records state the buyer and seller had no idea there was a problem with the sale.

Miller allegedly gave the buyers the keys to the residence. Meanwhile, the seller never received any money.

This all came to a head when the buyers received a letter from the sellers attorney that they needed to move out because the house wasn't theirs. The buyers scoffed at the letter because they said they paid Miller the money.

As for Miller himself, once he realized the walls were closing in he allegedly told another coworker he screwed up and if this got out it would ruin him.

As a result of Miller's legal trouble, Top Producers had to shut down. The business re-emerged under a new name - Century 21 Signature Reality.

As for Miller, Garske said he eagerly awaits his day in court.

"I think it's going to be good when all the facts finally come out in this matter," Garske said.

Miller faces 25 years behind bars if he is found guilty of embezzlement, among other charges.

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