Embattled San Antonio attorney information massive personal bankruptcy scenario

Pettit mentioned property of pretty much $27.8 million and money owed of $115.2 million in his individual Chapter 11 petition, making it one particular of the premier particular person bankruptcy instances at any time submitted in San Antonio. His business, Chris Pettit & Associates, documented assets valued at no extra than $50,000.

The filings Wednesday trumped programs by 6 Pettit collectors to file involuntary Chapter 7 cases towards him and his organization currently, reported Raymond Battaglia, their San Antonio individual bankruptcy attorney.

The individual bankruptcy attorney representing Pettit and his company has indicated he intends to inquire the court docket to appoint a trustee to oversee the debtors’ estates, Battaglia mentioned.

“This case is heading to call for someone who can trace property and trace transfers and things that (Pettit’s) performed with other people’s monies above the final pair of yrs,” he extra.

The bankruptcies arrive right after several lawsuits in opposition to Pettit and his company, most alleging they stole millions of dollars from purchasers. He has given general denials in responses to some of the satisfies but he and his firm also reached agreed judgment with some plaintiffs who ended up awarded — at minimum on paper — millions in financial and punitive damages.

Many others allege they shed much a lot less but, even so, quantities symbolizing their life savings.

“It’s just unfortunate,” Battaglia explained. “They trusted him, and which is a disgrace. As a attorney, I’m ashamed that an individual would do this. Some of these persons were in pretty dire situations at the time he stole their income.”

The FBI also is investigating.

Michael Colvard, the San Antonio personal bankruptcy law firm symbolizing Pettit and his company, didn’t immediately answer to requests for comment.

Pettit, 55, specializes in estate-preparing and personal-injury legislation, according to his firm’s web site. He graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1988 and is the solitary father of a 9-yr-outdated son.

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Pettit has served in several capacities, including as legal professional, investment decision adviser and trustee of several trusts, for dozens of shoppers. In a May 20 agreed judgment signed by condition District Judge Tina Torres, Pettit and his organization were being found to have dedicated fraud, misappropriated house and breached their fiduciary obligations as trustee of one particular believe in.

Torres awarded the plaintiff practically $1.7 million in financial damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

Just how Pettit allegedly misappropriated clients’ assets has not been in depth. But his individual personal bankruptcy petition stated various residences and automobiles.

Amongst the belongings he documented are:

• A 5-bedroom, 5½-tub mansion in the upscale Golden Oak community of Walt Disney Entire world Resort in Florida. The 7,300-sq.-foot property is mentioned for sale for practically $8.9 million.

• A 3-bed, 4½ bath home at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights. The home overlooks Olmos Dam and is one particular of the area’s most well-recognized residences. It’s valued at $3.6 million.

• A 4-bed, 4½-tub dwelling on Champions Operate in Stone Oak. It is valued at $1.8 million.

• A 3,000-square-foot house on Lakebreeze Travel in Canyon Lake. It’s valued at $1.1 million.

• A Port Aransas condominium valued at $640,000.

His actual estate holdings, which includes his regulation workplace constructing on Huebner Road, are valued at $18 million

Petitit also claimed possessing a 2021 Porsche Macan valued at $60,000 a 2019 Porsche Panamera, $50,000 a 2019 Mercedes GLS, $55,000 a 2018 Mercedes GL, $40,000 and a 2022 “boat,” $150,000.

He is proclaiming the Champions Run residence, the Mercedes GLS and several house goods as exempt from seizure by creditors.

Petitt also has claimed as exempt a 401(k) valued at about $635,000, an Unique Retirement Account with about $95,000 in it, and a few insurance policies collectively valued at practically $900,000. (His put together checking and personal savings accounts are in the pink.)

His secured debts, which consist of home loans and automobile financial loans, total about $8.9 million.

Most of Pettit’s collectors — numbering nearly 170 — are outlined as unsecured. They selection from credit history card firms to people today to trusts. Whilst many of the amounts owed are outlined as “unknown,” about 30 unsecured lenders maintain claims of more than $1 million each individual. Pettit disputes those people money owed.

The premier assert, outlined at $14.4 million, belongs to a San Antonio household partnership.

His petition reveals he just lately created a $30,000 credit history card payment to high-close jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. and $50,000 payment to a Houston-dependent professional serious estate loan provider.

Pettit claimed profits of $80,000 in the very first 5 months of this 12 months. He had revenue of $340,000 final 12 months and about $145,000 in 2020.

His legislation firm experienced about $1.3 million in gross cash flow in the initially five months of this year. It generated about $695,000 in cash flow previous yr and $721,000 in 2020.

Pettit claimed he and his business are defendants in 12 lawsuits, 8 of which are pending and 4 that have concluded.

The petition didn’t mention at least two lawsuits submitted last week in point out District Court docket in San Antonio.

In 1, a Colorado person and a have faith in allege he was “convinced” to allow for Pettit to “control” about $3.8 million.

Rather than commit the resources, Pettit transferred the money instantly into his legislation firm’s working account and “proceeded to use these funds” for his “own use and benefit,” the lawsuit says.

“Pettit used his positions as legal professional, monetary advisor, tax return preparer, expense advisor and trustee and custodian of plaintiffs’ funds to actively conceal his actions,” the complaint provides. The plaintiffs allege fraud and felony theft.

In the other lawsuit, a San Antonio guy alleges he invested about $975,0000 with Pettit but only acquired back again $24,000. The gentleman mentioned he had been certain the funds was “available for withdrawal at any time.”

The Securities and Exchange Fee exhibits Pettit was a registered investment decision adviser from April 2015 until eventually September of previous calendar year. It’s not apparent why he’s no longer registered. He had been affiliated with Austin’s Triad Advisors.

The Convey-News initially reported on Pettit’s mounting legal problems on May well 19. The subsequent working day, he resigned his place from a EF EnergyFunders Ventures Inc., an oil and natural gasoline financial investment business. It’s a Canadian stock trade business based mostly in Calgary but that maintains its government workplaces in San Antonio.


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