Former Montromgery Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding HUD
Montgomery, Ala. – A Georgia resident who was previously a practicing attorney in Montgomery, Alabama pled guilty Thursday, July 14, 2016 to wire fraud affecting a financial institution, announced the United States Attorney’s Office. Christopher B. Pitts, 46, now of Atlanta, Georgia, admitted to operating a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
According to court documents, between 2005 and 2008 Pitts served as a closing attorney for the sales of all homes owned by HUD in northern and central Alabama. As the closing attorney, it was Pitts’s responsibility to receive purchase money, pay closing costs, and transmit to HUD the remaining purchase money. In court yesterday, Pitts admitted that, on numerous occasions, he did not actually remit payments to HUD. As a result of Pitts’s fraud, HUD never received the money it was owed for the sales of HUD-owned houses. Pitts was arrested on February 8, 2016 following a federal grand jury indictment on this charge.
A date for sentencing has yet to be scheduled. Pitts faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, as well as substantial monetary penalties.
This case was investigated by HUD’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross is prosecuting the case.