Former Attorney Indicted on Securities and Bank Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 03, 2013|
BIRMINGHAM, AL—A federal grand jury today indicted a former attorney in connection with a wire, mail, and securities fraud scheme involving the fraudulent taking of more than $2.8 million in investment funds, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein, Jr., and Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph Borg.
A 21-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Christopher Shawn Linton, 34, of Alabaster, with the securities fraud scheme and with bank fraud arising from the submission of a fraudulent commercial loan application to Iberia Bank for a loan of $908,650.
According to the indictment, the securities fraud scheme unfolded as follows:
In 2007, Linton became an officer, partner, and part-owner of a business known as Integrity Capital Inc. by purchasing stock in the company. Integrity Capital Inc. was a factoring business located in the greater Birmingham area. Its business was to make advance payments to lawyers who had submitted payment vouchers for work performed for the state of Alabama. Integrity Capital would then receive the voucher payments from the state and keep a percentage as a fee.
In 2009, Linton formed Integrity Capital LLC. Beginning about August 2009, Linton recruited investment advisors to solicit investments in Integrity Capital LLC in order to purchase the assets and capital stock of Integrity Capital Inc. Between September 2009 and December 2011, a total of 12 individuals invested more than $2.8 million in Integrity Capital LLC. The investors mailed, wired, or delivered money to Linton, and the funds were deposited into one of several bank accounts held by the law firm where Linton worked as an attorney. After receiving the investor funds, Linton fraudulently converted them for personal use by writing personal checks to himself and by using the funds for non-investment purposes. The non-investment purposes included, but were not limited to, the purchase of his personal residence, construction projects at the residence, private jet flights, vacations, recreational vehicles, furniture, luxury items, Auburn football tickets, and a donation to the Heisman Trophy Trust.
The maximum penalty for each wire fraud charge is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the maximum penalty for each mail fraud charge is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the maximum penalty for money laundering is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; the maximum penalty for each securities fraud charge is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and the maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.
The FBI and Alabama Securities Commission investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark is prosecuting along with Greg Biggs Associate Counsel with Alabama Securities Commission.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges, and it will be the government’s responsibility to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.