Embattled San Antonio lawyer information large bankruptcy scenario

Pettit shown property of virtually $27.8 million and money owed of $115.2 million in his specific Chapter 11 petition, earning it a single of the premier individual individual bankruptcy circumstances ever submitted in San Antonio. His agency, Chris Pettit & Associates, claimed assets valued at no much more than $50,000.

The filings Wednesday trumped designs by 6 Pettit collectors to file involuntary Chapter 7 cases towards him and his company nowadays, reported Raymond Battaglia, their San Antonio personal bankruptcy attorney.

The bankruptcy lawyer representing Pettit and his business has indicated he intends to talk to the court to appoint a trustee to oversee the debtors’ estates, Battaglia mentioned.

“This circumstance is going to involve an individual who can trace belongings and trace transfers and issues that (Pettit’s) done with other people’s monies above the last couple of a long time,” he additional.

The bankruptcies occur right after various lawsuits towards Pettit and his organization, most alleging they stole millions of dollars from shoppers. He has offered general denials in responses to some of the suits but he and his firm also arrived at agreed judgment with some plaintiffs who were awarded — at the very least on paper — millions in financial and punitive damages.

Many others allege they misplaced much considerably less but, nonetheless, quantities symbolizing their lifestyle personal savings.

“It’s just unhappy,” Battaglia explained. “They dependable him, and that is a shame. As a attorney, I’m ashamed that an individual would do this. Some of these individuals ended up in very dire conditions at the time he stole their income.”

The FBI also is investigating.

Michael Colvard, the San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer symbolizing Pettit and his business, did not instantly answer to requests for comment.

Pettit, 55, specializes in estate-preparing and personal-injuries law, in accordance to his firm’s internet site. He graduated from St. Mary’s University University of Legislation in 1988 and is the solitary father of a 9-year-outdated son.

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Pettit has served in a variety of capacities, which include as lawyer, financial commitment adviser and trustee of different trusts, for dozens of clients. In a May well 20 agreed judgment signed by point out District Judge Tina Torres, Pettit and his company were being discovered to have dedicated fraud, misappropriated house and breached their fiduciary duties as trustee of 1 trust.

Torres awarded the plaintiff nearly $1.7 million in economic damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

Just how Pettit allegedly misappropriated clients’ assets has not been in depth. But his private individual bankruptcy petition listed several residences and automobiles.

Amid the assets he described are:

• A five-bedroom, 5½-bathtub mansion in the upscale Golden Oak group of Walt Disney Entire world Vacation resort in Florida. The 7,300-square-foot dwelling is detailed for sale for virtually $8.9 million.

• A 3-bed, 4½ bath home at 555 Argyle Ave. in Alamo Heights. The property overlooks Olmos Dam and is a single of the area’s most effectively-acknowledged residences. It’s valued at $3.6 million.

• A four-bed, 4½-bath residence on Champions Operate in Stone Oak. It is valued at $1.8 million.

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

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

His true estate holdings, which consists of his legislation business office creating on Huebner Highway, are valued at $18 million

Petitit also claimed owning 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 declaring the Champions Operate home, the Mercedes GLS and several household things as exempt from seizure by lenders.

Petitt also has claimed as exempt a 401(k) valued at about $635,000, an Personal Retirement Account with about $95,000 in it, and 3 insurance coverage insurance policies collectively valued at almost $900,000. (His combined checking and price savings accounts are in the pink.)

His secured debts, which include things like home loans and car financial loans, full about $8.9 million.

Most of Pettit’s creditors — numbering just about 170 — are mentioned as unsecured. They array from credit rating card providers to individuals to trusts. Though several of the quantities owed are detailed as “unknown,” about 30 unsecured collectors maintain claims of a lot more than $1 million just about every. Pettit disputes those people debts.

The major assert, shown at $14.4 million, belongs to a San Antonio family members partnership.

His petition shows he lately produced a $30,000 credit rating card payment to significant-end jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. and $50,000 payment to a Houston-centered business genuine estate financial institution.

Pettit documented money of $80,000 in the initial 5 months of this yr. He experienced cash flow of $340,000 very last calendar year and about $145,000 in 2020.

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

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

The petition did not point out at the very least two lawsuits submitted final 7 days in condition District Court docket in San Antonio.

In just one, a Colorado gentleman and a have faith in allege he was “convinced” to let Pettit to “control” about $3.8 million.

Rather than invest the cash, Pettit transferred the money specifically into his legislation firm’s operating account and “proceeded to use those people funds” for his “own use and profit,” the lawsuit suggests.

“Pettit utilized his positions as legal professional, financial advisor, tax return preparer, financial investment advisor and trustee and custodian of plaintiffs’ income to actively conceal his steps,” the complaint adds. 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 obtained back again $24,000. The gentleman explained he had been certain the dollars was “available for withdrawal at any time.”

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

The Categorical-News initial described on Pettit’s mounting legal troubles on Might 19. The upcoming working day, he resigned his posture from a EF EnergyFunders Ventures Inc., an oil and natural gas investment corporation. It’s a Canadian inventory exchange firm dependent in Calgary but that maintains its government offices in San Antonio.

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