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Courts

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Ex-IU player charged in realty funds scheme

Leary

Former Indiana University basketball player and current radio announcer Todd C. Leary faces 17 felony charges in connection with a scheme to misappropriate real estate title funds.

According to court documents, Leary’s former teammate, Brian Evans, cooperated with state investigators to uncover the scheme.

Leary played basketball for coach Bob Knight’s Hoosiers from 1990 to 1994; the team advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1992.

Leary once worked for former title insurance broker Joseph Garretson, who pleaded guilty this week in Allen Superior Court to conversion or misappropriation of title insurance escrow funds, corrupt business influence and unlawful loan origination activities in a scheme that court documents say totaled $2.7 million in losses.

IU police arrested Leary – an analyst for the Indiana University Radio Network – on Thursday evening, and he was booked into the Monroe County Jail in Bloomington about 6:45 p.m., 15 minutes before IU’s home game against Purdue.

Leary, 39, of Carmel, is accused of conspiring with Garretson between July 2008 and February 2009 to commit a variety of felonies, including conspiracy to commit conversion or misappropriation of title insurance escrow funds, conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to corrupt business influence. The majority of the charges are Class C felonies, with penalties of up to four years in prison each.

Garretson is accused of arranging mortgage refinancing loans for area clients and failing to use the money to pay off the initial loans, causing mortgage holders to default.

Under the terms of Garretson’s plea agreement, he faces no more than 12 years in prison when he is sentenced in April, according to court documents.

After Garretson’s arrest last fall, Leary called Evans – a mutual friend – and told Evans he was “a big part of Garretson’s situation,” documents said.

Garretson met Leary through Evans and hired Leary in 2004 to work for Mortgage Links, a mortgage company Garretson opened in the Indianapolis area, according to court documents.

Leary left Garretson’s company to work for Ken Dilger, a former Indianapolis Colts player. After he went to work for Dilger, Leary approached Garretson about needing money to cover $289,000 he misappropriated from Legends Title, court documents said.

In a December phone call to Evans, Leary said Garretson helped him out when he was in “big trouble.” Leary went on to say Garretson did not have much of a choice because Leary had caught Garretson misappropriating funds when Leary worked for him, according to court documents.

Through his attorney, Garretson told investigators that Leary pressured him on numerous occasions for more money, threatening to disclose Garretson’s financial misdeeds, according court documents.

According to court documents, between March 11, 2008, and Feb. 12, 2009, more than $1 million in wire transfers went from a Fort Wayne Title bank account into a National City Bank account opened by Leary. Between March 2008 and March 2009, Leary withdrew $690,000 from the account, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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