chris pettit

Lawyer for Chris Pettit raises concerns about ‘authenticity’ of $270 million in bankruptcy claims

A lawyer for Chris Pettit, in a letter to the judge presiding over the ex-attorney’s bankruptcies, has raised questions about the “authenticity” of the $270 million in claims submitted by creditors in the cases.

The “obvious concern is that some creditors may take substantially more dividend than they are entitled to the detriment of honest creditors,” San Antonio bankruptcy lawyer Ron Smeberg wrote.

Pettit is in jail awaiting trial in connection with the alleged theft of millions of dollars from his former legal clients. He pleaded not guilty after his indictment on
five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering
last week.


Judge denies Chris Pettit’s release on bond, will remain jailed until his criminal trial

Pettit filed for bankruptcy protection
for himself and his law firm June 1 amid
mounting lawsuits that alleged he had defrauded clients. He subsequently
surrendered his law license
and shuttered his offices.

Smeberg said questions about the creditors’ claims “developed” during a detention hearing Tuesday in federal court in which prosecutors argued Pettit should remain incarcerated pending trial.

FBI agent Thomas Sweatt testified the “current claims” against Pettit were in the range of $30 (million) to $70 million,

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Bankruptcy judge denies Chris Pettit’s bid to get out of jail

SAN ANTONIO — Christopher “Chris” Pettit will remain in jail after a bankruptcy court judge ruled Wednesday that the disgraced former lawyer had not done enough to clear himself of a contempt of court charge.

Telling Pettit he holds the keys to his jail cell, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Craig Gargotta set 17 conditions the ex-attorney must satisfy to be released. First on the list is that Pettit turn over a business laptop to the trustee administering the bankruptcy estate. Pettit has given conflicting accounts regarding its whereabouts.

“It would really move things along if Mr. Pettit would come clean about what happened with regard to the laptop, good or bad, so we could move on in this case,” Gargotta said. The laptop purportedly contains information the trustee wants regarding Pettit’s clients and their funds.

“I’m not suggesting he say this, but if Mr. Pettit were to say, ‘I destroyed it’ … then if that really was the truth, then we would know … that as a result (the trustee and creditors are) not going to get that information,” the judge added. “Really, what’s at issue here is just saying where it is.”


One of Chris Pettit’s largest

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Chris Pettit spent $250K in the 40 days after filing bankruptcy

Ex-San Antonio attorney Christopher “Chris” Pettit, accused of stealing his clients’ money, spent more than $250,000 in the 40 days after he filed for bankruptcy.

The spending is detailed in court exhibits that are part of the Chapter 11 trustee’s motion seeking an order directing Pettit to show why he should not be held in contempt for withdrawing $125,000 from his retirement account after filing for bankruptcy June 1.

Pettit, 55, transferred the retirement money into checking and savings accounts at Martha’s Vineyard Bank in Massachusetts. The court exhibits show he spent just shy of $252,000 from those accounts from June 2 through July 11.

“It may be consistent with his pre-bankruptcy lifestyle,” said San Antonio attorney Martin Seidler, who represents creditors in the case.

Pettit listed $27.8 million in assets and $115.2 million in debts in his personal bankruptcy, one of the largest ever filed in San Antonio. His law firm also filed.

The trustee — the court-appointed private attorney overseeing the assets — has said the retirement money should not be touched until the court rules it’s exempt from the bankruptcy estate.

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