July 1, 2022

Embattled San Antonio lawyer information large personal bankruptcy scenario

Pettit mentioned assets of virtually $27.8 million and money owed of $115.2 million in his unique Chapter 11 petition, producing it one of the largest unique individual bankruptcy instances ever submitted in San Antonio. His organization, Chris Pettit & Associates, noted property valued at no a lot more than $50,000.

The filings Wednesday trumped designs by six Pettit collectors to file involuntary Chapter 7 instances from him and his agency nowadays, claimed Raymond Battaglia, their San Antonio individual bankruptcy lawyer.

The personal bankruptcy lawyer symbolizing Pettit and his firm has indicated he intends to ask the court to appoint a trustee to oversee the debtors’ estates, Battaglia stated.

“This circumstance is heading to require another person who can trace belongings and trace transfers and points that (Pettit’s) done with other people’s monies in excess of the final few of many years,” he additional.

The bankruptcies occur right after numerous lawsuits against Pettit and his agency, most alleging they stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from purchasers. He has supplied standard denials in responses to some of the satisfies but he and his agency also attained agreed judgment with some plaintiffs who had been awarded — at the very least on paper — millions in financial and punitive damages.

Others allege they shed far a lot less but, even so, quantities symbolizing their life personal savings.

“It’s just sad,” Battaglia mentioned. “They trustworthy him, and that’s a shame. As a attorney, I’m ashamed that anyone would do this. Some of these men and women had been in very dire cases at the time he stole their dollars.”

The FBI also is investigating.

Michael Colvard, the San Antonio personal bankruptcy lawyer representing Pettit and his firm, didn’t quickly answer to requests for comment.

Pettit, 55, specializes in estate-planning and particular-personal injury regulation, according to his firm’s website. He graduated from St. Mary’s University Faculty of Regulation in 1988 and is the solitary father of a 9-year-aged son.

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Pettit has served in many capacities, which include as lawyer, investment decision adviser and trustee of several trusts, for dozens of clientele. In a May possibly 20 agreed judgment signed by point out District Choose Tina Torres, Pettit and his agency ended up discovered to have committed fraud, misappropriated house and breached their fiduciary responsibilities as trustee of a person trust.

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

Just how Pettit allegedly misappropriated clients’ assets has not been detailed. But his personalized bankruptcy petition listed many residences and vehicles.

Amid the belongings he claimed are:

• A five-bedroom, 5½-bathtub mansion in the upscale Golden Oak local community of Walt Disney Planet Resort in Florida. The 7,300-square-foot home is listed for sale for nearly $8.9 million.

• A three-bed, 4½ bathtub dwelling at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights. The property overlooks Olmos Dam and is one particular of the area’s most effectively-recognised residences. It’s valued at $3.6 million.

• A four-mattress, 4½-bathtub house on Champions Operate in Stone Oak. It’s valued at $1.8 million.

• A 3,000-sq.-foot residence on Lakebreeze Drive in Canyon Lake. It is valued at $1.1 million.

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

His real estate holdings, which includes his regulation business creating on Huebner Highway, are valued at $18 million

Petitit also described 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 saying the Champions Run assets, the Mercedes GLS and a lot of family things as exempt from seizure by collectors.

Petitt also has claimed as exempt a 401(k) valued at about $635,000, an Specific Retirement Account with about $95,000 in it, and a few insurance guidelines collectively valued at pretty much $900,000. (His mixed examining and financial savings accounts are in the red.)

His secured money owed, which consist of mortgages and car or truck loans, total about $8.9 million.

Most of Pettit’s creditors — numbering almost 170 — are stated as unsecured. They array from credit rating card corporations to people to trusts. While lots of of the amounts owed are listed as “unknown,” about 30 unsecured creditors maintain statements of extra than $1 million every. Pettit disputes all those debts.

The major assert, listed at $14.4 million, belongs to a San Antonio household partnership.

His petition demonstrates he a short while ago manufactured a $30,000 credit card payment to large-close jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. and $50,000 payment to a Houston-centered industrial genuine estate lender.

Pettit reported cash flow of $80,000 in the 1st 5 months of this yr. He experienced earnings of $340,000 very last year and about $145,000 in 2020.

His regulation company had about $1.3 million in gross earnings in the very first 5 months of this yr. It created about $695,000 in earnings previous year and $721,000 in 2020.

Pettit documented he and his agency are defendants in 12 lawsuits, 8 of which are pending and four that have concluded.

The petition did not mention at least two lawsuits submitted past 7 days in condition District Court docket in San Antonio.

In 1, a Colorado male and a rely on allege he was “convinced” to allow Pettit to “control” about $3.8 million.

Fairly than spend the money, Pettit transferred the cash specifically into his law firm’s working account and “proceeded to use those people funds” for his “own use and reward,” the lawsuit states.

“Pettit employed his positions as lawyer, monetary advisor, tax return preparer, investment decision advisor and trustee and custodian of plaintiffs’ money to actively conceal his steps,” the criticism adds. The plaintiffs allege fraud and felony theft.

In the other lawsuit, a San Antonio man alleges he invested about $975,0000 with Pettit but only acquired back again $24,000. The person reported he had been assured the money was “available for withdrawal at any time.”

The Securities and Trade Commission reveals Pettit was a registered financial investment adviser from April 2015 till September of final year. It is not distinct why he’s no lengthier registered. He experienced been affiliated with Austin’s Triad Advisors.

The Categorical-Information 1st noted on Pettit’s mounting lawful difficulties on Could 19. The future working day, he resigned his posture from a EF EnergyFunders Ventures Inc., an oil and pure gas expense organization. It is a Canadian inventory trade business primarily based in Calgary but that maintains its govt workplaces in San Antonio.

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