Attorney Arrested for Stealing From the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Montgomery, Ala. – Christopher B. Pitts, 46, a Georgia resident who was previously an attorney practicing in Montgomery, Alabama was arrested today after being indicted on February 2, 2016 for nine counts of wire fraud, announced George Beck Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama.
According to the allegations in the indictment, between 2005 and 2008, Pitts served as a closing attorney for the sales of all homes owned by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in northern and central Alabama. As the closing attorney, it was Pitts’s job to receive purchase money, pay closing costs, and transmit to HUD the remaining purchase money. The indictment alleges that, at least eight times, Pitts did not perform this last step—paying HUD the net proceeds from a sale. Instead, Pitts used money from the sales of HUD-owned homes for personal expenses, such as paying off mortgages held by his wife. In total, Pitts caused HUD to lose around $1.1 million.
If convicted, Pitts faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. He also faces substantial monetary penalties and restitution.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by HUD’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross is prosecuting the case.