Alabaster attorney sentenced for $2.8 million in fraud

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A 35-year-old Alabaster man will spend five years and 11 months in prison for bilking 12 investors out of more than $2.8 million and spending the money on items ranging from championship football tickets to private jet flights.

Linton

Linton

Federal Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced Christopher Shawn Linton on June 26 after Linton pleaded guilty in February to charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. He is required to report to prison on Sept. 22.

As part of his plea agreement, Linton is required to pay $2.5 million in restitution to the investors he defrauded, and to pay Iberia Bank $19,850 in restitution related to the bank fraud charge.

“The government’s sentencing memorandum notes, however, that the Alabaster house Linton bought with $560,000 in investor funds, and then lavishly improved, cannot be used as means to compensate Linton’s victims because there is not enough equity to satisfy a court judgment because Linton used the house as collateral on business and personal loans, which take priority over any judgment,” read a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

“The victims in this case trusted that this defendant, an attorney, would protect their investments. Instead, he robbed them of their savings so he could live a fantasy life of luxury,” Vance said. “I appreciate the hard work of the FBI and the Alabama Securities Commission in helping us bring Mr. Linton to justice.”

In 2007, Linton became an officer, partner and part owner Integrity Capital Inc., by purchasing stock in the company. Its business was to make advance payments to lawyers who had submitted payment vouchers for work performed for the state of Alabama.

In 2009, Linton formed Integrity Capital LLC. Between 2009 and 2011,12 individuals invested more than $2.8 million in Integrity Capital LLC.

After receiving the investor funds, Linton wrote personal checks to himself and by using the funds for non-investment purposes. including the purchase of his house, 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.