Surf City Escrow Firm Loses $1.5 mil to Cyber Thieves Who Send Loot to China and Russia

The state shut down Efficient Services Escrow Group not because the Huntington Beach-based company is yet another Orange County firm ripping off underwater homeowners but because it is a crime victim.

Cyber thieves managed to hack into company computers and wire $1.5 million to China and Russia, authorities say.


Peter A. Davidson, the state-appointed conservator in the case, says 41 ongoing real estate transactions were hindered by the three separate thefts in December and January, reports the Associated Press, based on something behind the fabled Register pay wall.

So far, the bank recovered $432,215 sent to Moscow but at least $1.1 million reportedly remains missing.

The thefts fit a nationwide pattern where thieves use computer malware and other viruses to capture passwords, drain bank accounts and wire the loot overseas.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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