real Estate Investor, Disbarred Lawyer Sentenced 30 Years for Massive Fraud Scheme
NORFOLK, Va. – Troy A. Titus, 43, of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in prison for operating multiple fraud schemes to steal and misappropriate almost $10 million from clients and investors.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and A.J. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the Norfolk Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.
“People trusted Troy Titus as an advisor and lawyer, and he swindled dozens of victims out of millions,” U.S. Attorney MacBride said. “We hope this 30-year sentence will send a clear message that those who engage in financial fraud will face severe consequences.”
On December 18, 2009, a federal jury in Norfolk found Titus guilty of 33 fraud-related charges after a four-week trial. According to court documents and evidence at trial, Titus was a lawyer practicing in Virginia who also conducted investment seminars focusing primarily on real estate and estate planning. Titus approached clients or seminar participants and induced them into investing money with him to purchase and rehabilitate real estate, promising to return the money at a later date with a high rate of interest. However, Titus obtained many of the real properties involved through fraud or transferring the properties into trusts controlled by him. Instead of using the funds as promised, Titus directed the investment income toward paying business or personal expenses, backfill investment losses, and at times to make token payments or repay previous investors.
In addition, Titus misappropriated funds given to him by elderly or incapacitated clients who provided him with income intended to be held in trust and took steps to conceal those uses from those who inquired about the management of the trust. Trial evidence showed that Titus failed to make payments for the trust clients’ basic medical and housing needs. Titus engaged in a similar scheme to defraud involving real estate closing funds he held in trust.
Court records and evidence at trial indicate that the loss and intended loss amount attributed to Titus’s activities totaled almost $10 million and affected approximately 30 victims. The Virginia State Bar revoked his law license in 2005.
This case was investigated by the Norfolk Field Office of the FBI, with assistance from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, the State Corporation Commission, and the Virginia State Bar. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Melissa O’Boyle and Michael Moore.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.