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A former attorney from Alabaster, Alabama was sentenced this week to six years in federal prison for bilking investors out of $2.5 million. Christopher Shawn Linton was sentenced to 71 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Hopkins, and ordered to pay $2.5 million restitution to 12 investors. He will also serve five years under probation upon release. He will start his prison term from September 22.
The judge said Linton was a "robber baron, because you are a robber and you lived like a baron." According to court documents, Linton purchased stock and became an officer and part-owner of a company called Integrity Capital Inc., in 2007. The business ostensibly made advance payments to lawyers who did work for the state and then collected the money from the state keeping a percentage as a service fee.
He later formed a company called Integrity Capital LLC in 2009 and then solicited investors to buy the assets and stock of Integrity Capital Inc. Between September 2009 and December 2011 he received close to $2.8 million from investors who paid the money into Linton's law firm. The money was deposited into his Interest on Lawyers Trust Account.
However, instead of investing the money, Linton spent it on purchasing luxury items, leading an expensive lifestyle, buying a house, and making costly tours and trips.
To keep up the fraud, he made investors sign loans and promissory notes that misrepresented the purposes of the loan. He also made false account statements and mailed them to the investors to convince them that everything was happening according to schedule.
Al.com reported Linton is a former police officer who did his law degree from the Birmingham School of Law. He had also run for the Alabama House of Representatives in 2009, the year he started the fraud. The public defender submitted to the court that Linton was bipolar.
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