A branch of the American Legion has filed suit against a title corporation, alleging it refuses to release more than $400,000 owed to it following the sale of one of its buildings.

Columbia Post No. 581 claims the city of Columbia purchased property from it and placed $475,000 into an escrow account with defendant Metro East Title Corporation. A portion of the money was supposed to be disbursed to Columbia Post No. 581 after the transaction was completed on Aug. 7, according to the complaint filed Nov. 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

However, Metro East Title Corporation has not yet given the $404,228.10 to Columbia Post No. 581, despite its demands for the money, the suit states.

“Defendant has committed a deprivation of the right of the plaintiff, by its unauthorized and wrongful assumption or control, dominion, or ownership of plaintiff’s personal property,” the complaint says.

In addition to Metro East Title Corporation, Columbia Post No. 581 names the company’s president, Karen Steinke, as a defendant. It also names WFG National Title Insurance Company as a defendant, saying that Metro East Title Corporation is an agent of WFG. In turn, WFG has a duty to remit the funds to Columbia Post No. 581, according to the complaint.

In addition to the money it claims it is owed, Columbia Post No. 581 is seeking costs and other relief the court deems just.

Frederick W. Keck of Weilmuenster Law Group in Belleville will be representing it.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-580.

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