Ex-S.A. lawyer Chris Pettit referred to as a ‘one-stop fraud store’

Ex-San Antonio lawyer Christopher “Chris” Pettit was a “one-stop fraud store,” an legal professional representing the trustee overseeing Pettit’s chapter case mentioned Monday.

“Mainly, that one cease concerned trusts, it concerned tax submitting, it concerned probate, it concerned private damage,” legal professional Patrick Huffstickler advised Chief U.S. Chapter Choose Craig Gargotta at a listening to. “He was a licensed monetary adviser so it concerned investments. So there are a number of paperwork.”

Pettit, a longtime San Antonio legal professional, filed for chapter safety and surrendered his Texas regulation license this month after allegations that he stole thousands and thousands from shoppers. One creditor’s lawyer estimated at the very least $50 million has been misappropriated.

The allegations have triggered an FBI investigation however no costs have been filed.

Pettit didn’t attend Monday’s continuing.

“I’ll say this on the report: Sooner or later he’s coming to courtroom,” the choose mentioned. “So you’ll be able to simply convey that to him that he’s going to have to return to courtroom sooner or later in time — reside and in individual.”

Eric Terry, the Chapter 11 trustee, is anticipated to satisfy with Pettit someday this week — probably as early as Tuesday — to get a greater deal with on the property and shopper recordsdata. Pettit listed $27.8 million in property and $115.2 million in liabilities in his chapter — among the many largest ever filed in San Antonio. His regulation agency, which has been shut down, additionally entered chapter however has but to report its property and money owed. The 2 instances have been consolidated.

As trustee, Terry, a San Antonio legal professional, will probably be liable for finding property for distribution to collectors.

Ex-S.A. lawyer Chris Pettit referred to as a ‘one-stop fraud store’

Ex-attorney Christopher “Chris” Pettit’s fundamental regulation workplace was at 11902 Rustic Lane in San Antonio.

‘Little eerie’

He has visited the workplace at 13111 Huebner Highway the place Pettit maintained his personal-injury apply.

“Strolling by way of that workplace constructing was just a little eerie,” Terry mentioned at a earlier courtroom listening to. “And it felt tragic for the individuals which were robbed, fairly frankly. There have been overwhelming emotions at many instances strolling by way of that workplace constructing.”

In an electronic mail, Terry elaborated on what he noticed.

“I acknowledged that as a result of I noticed actual names of the actual individuals violated and victimized within the midst of a lavish regulation workplace,” he mentioned. “I felt an amazing feeling of dedication to assist these individuals.”

There are lots of, if not 1000’s, of shopper recordsdata, Terry mentioned.

“They’re actually in disarray, in my view, and there may be particular lack of controls,” he mentioned within the earlier listening to. On Monday, although, Huffstickler mentioned the information “usually are not is as unhealthy a form” as he anticipated however added “there is no such thing as a simple index” to assist to find recordsdata. Consequently, it’s going to take time to for each the debtor and the trustee to get data.

“I additionally level out at this explicit level within the case the property has little or no in the best way of money property,” Huffstickler mentioned. “That is a type of instances that I consult with as I’m engaged on a contingency foundation with no upside.”

Nonetheless, there are a number of potential property — primarily actual property. It features a mansion in Disney World that’s been listed on the market for $8.9 million and a residence at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights overlooking Olmos Dam. It’s valued by Pettit at $3.6 million.

Apart from 4 workplaces in San Antonio, Pettit had smaller satellite tv for pc workplaces in Laredo and Las Cruces, N.M., for potential personal-injury instances, Huffstickler mentioned.

That prompted Gargotta to ask if Pettit was licensed as an legal professional in New Mexico. Huffstickler didn’t know however Pettit isn’t listed on the State Bar of New Mexico’s web site.

Less than two months before filing for bankruptcy, now-former San Antonio attorney Christopher “Chris” Pettit gave Sin Reposo LLC the option to purchase the mansion at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights overlooking Olmos Dam. He has valued the property at $3.6 million.

Lower than two months earlier than submitting for chapter, now-former San Antonio legal professional Christopher “Chris” Pettit gave Sin Reposo LLC the choice to buy the mansion at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights overlooking Olmos Dam. He has valued the property at $3.6 million.

Property transfers

Terry is also investigating the switch of at the very least seven properties collectively price thousands and thousands of {dollars}. The properties had been transferred by Pettit or entities he managed to Sin Reposo LLC. That’s an organization managed by Garrett Glass, a San Antonio developer who’s CFO of an oil and fuel funding firm primarily based in Calgary referred to as EF EnergyFunders Inc. The corporate’s principal workplace is in San Antonio.

Michael Colvard, Pettit’s chapter lawyer, mentioned his shopper transferred the properties “to get cash” to resolve a courtroom judgment in opposition to him and his agency.

Pettit didn’t record the transactions in his chapter papers, however Colvard indicated the paperwork will probably be amended to incorporate them sooner or later.

“We’re cooperating with the trustee and we’re going to get this data and make this data obtainable as quickly as doable,” Colvard mentioned of the property transactions.

Huffstickler advised the choose the trustee might quickly file an utility to rent litigation counsel to pursue instances doubtlessly involving the switch of property which may in any other case belong to the chapter property.

Huffstickler mentioned Terry needs to arrange a protocol to deal with the return of shopper recordsdata, which embody personal-injury instances, wills, tax returns and trusts.

“We wish to get individuals their recordsdata,” he mentioned. “This can be a many-headed beast.”

The trustee additionally needs one other protocol arrange that may permit him to execute paperwork to take away Pettit or his agency as trustee on numerous trusts and have new trustees put in, Huffstickler mentioned.

Terry added, “I’m dedicated to doing this quick. Once we say just a few weeks, I imply it.”

[email protected]