Former Montgomery Lawyer Sentenced for Defrauding HUD for Over $1M
On Tuesday, November 6, Christopher B. Pitts, 48, a Georgia resident who was previously a practicing attorney in Montgomery, received a 37-month sentence for devising a scheme to commit wire fraud affecting a financial
institution. United States District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Pitts after he pleaded guilty to defrauding 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’ job to receive purchase money, pay closing costs, and transmit to HUD the remaining purchase money.
As Pitts admitted when he pleaded guilty, on numerous occasions, he did not actually remit payments to HUD. As a result of Pitts’ fraud, HUD never received the money it was owed for the sale of HUD-owned houses.
At the sentencing hearing, Judge Coogler found that Pitts was responsible for causing a total loss to HUD of $1,090,888.53.
The judge ordered that Pitts make full restitution to HUD upon his release from prison.
This case was investigated by HUD’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross prosecuted the case.