Former City of Falls Church developer Todd Hitt, who until recently loomed large in the City as a developer and philanthropist, has pleaded guilty in the Eastern Federal District court in Alexandria to eight securities fraud schemes that resulted in losses to investors of about $20 million, the court reported Wednesday. Hitt will be sentenced on June 21 and could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.
According to court documents, Hitt, 54, solicited some $30 million from investors for a variety of real estate and venture capital investments in the Washington, D.C. area from 2014 through August 2018. The investments included Hitt’s solicitation of approximately $17 million from investors to purchase a five-story office building adjacent to a planned future stop on the Silver Line in Herndon. Hitt’s fraudulent conduct resulted in investor losses of approximately $20 million. Hitt made false statements and material omissions to investors by failing to disclose that a significant portion of the monies raised were commingled with other unrelated investment projects, used for personal spending to support an extravagant lifestyle and new investor funds were used to pay off old investors in a Ponzi-like scheme.
Hitt pleaded guilty to a charge of securities fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $5 million or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 21, according to the court.