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Minn. Real Estate Closer Fined $420K

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce has ordered a Forest Lake real estate closer and insurance agent to pay a civil penalty of $420,000.

The department says an investigation found that Cynthia Strand misappropriated $1.3 million in client funds for her own use.

The department also revoked Strand’s insurance producer, real estate closer and notary commissioner licenses.

The money remitted to her company, Strand Closing Services, was intended to pay off previous mortgages on numerous properties as well as other transaction fees. But the department found that between January 2007 and September 2009, almost $1.3 million in payments were made from the company’s general account to Strand personally or to businesses controlled by Strand and her husband.

Strand’s attorney, Eric Thole, says Strand is now focused on resolving the related criminal case in Washington County.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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