The former owner of a North Texas title company who stole millions from customers and referred to herself as the "Millennium Mobster" has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
On Wednesday, State District Judge George Gallagher ordered 46-year-old Nancy Spinks, also known as Nancy Carroll, to pay a record-setting $8,605,001.57 in restitution the State of Texas v. Nancy J. Carroll. The decision came in the 396th Judicial District Court of Tarrant County.
Special Prosecutor William "Doug" Wallace, a candidate for Judge of the 378th Judicial District Court of Ellis County, obtained a record-setting result in his close of a two-year journey seeking justice for victims of the Millennium Title scandal.
The $8.6 Million restitution order in the case is the largest in recent history for both the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office and the Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Unit.
Spinks last year pleaded guilty to theft in a plea deal with prosecutors. She tearfully apologized in court Wednesday. Judge George Gallagher said she didn't need to apologize to him but that her actions "destroyed a lot of lives."
Wallace, the lead prosecutor for the State of Texas in this matter, said "We insisted on the significant restitution in order to assure some measure of justice for the two dozen victims who lost life savings and significant assets to Ms. Carroll's (Spinks') actions. Judge Gallagher was spot on when he admonished her in court that her apologies should be directed to those victims whose lives she has destroyed."
He added, "Ms. Carroll (Spinks) is the kind of financial predator whose actions have a chilling effect on the economy and on the peace of mind of investors, homeowners, and retirees."
Spinks owned Millennium Title of Southlake. Prosecutors say it was a Ponzi scheme she used to skim money and bankroll an elaborate lifestyle. She disappeared in August 2015 and was apprehended in the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois.
According to court documents, it was there that Carroll (Spinks) and her husband of mere weeks hiding in plain sight. They were living under his last name and renting a more than 6,000-square foot mansion for $8,500 per month. Carroll (Spinks) used the money she had stolen to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included international travel, high-profile celebrity music events, and expensive automobiles — such as a $165,000 Mercedes Benz she furnished her teenage son to drive.
A press release from the office of Wallace states Carroll assumed the moniker of "Millennium Mobster" after she was arrested in Illinois, speculating that someday her story would be made into a movie where actress Reese Witherspoon would portray her. Such hubris and grandiose schemes were nothing new to the 46-year-old Carroll, either. She married her second husband, 20 years her junior, in a $125,000 ceremony at the Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose in the fall of 2015, just as examiners were closing in on her operation.
"It was always our theory of the case that Millennium Title was established as a criminal enterprise from the very beginning. Ms. Carroll adopted a habit of steering real estate transactions she intended to embezzle through her law firm's 'IOLTA' account instead of the title company's escrow account, hiding it from state title company auditors," Wallace said. "As the end of 2015 approached, Ms. Carroll's efforts to make a grab for cash increased. Carroll put a plan in action to escape to Illinois under a new name and told others she was leaving Texas and set up a law practice and business in Florida."
Court documents show that most of the money she stole appears to have been squandered on lifestyle, she also invested in home and land, held in trusts in an attempt to protect them from a restitution order such as this. Most of those properties went to the lienholders when she stopped paying on the notes. However, a significant sum of money was seized by the court-appointed receiver of Millennium Title, which may be available to pay part of the restitution ordered.
Carroll had been eligible for probation as a first-time offender with no prior criminal record. This result not only punishes Carroll but also protects countless future victims.