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Todd Hitt Sentenced To Over 6 Years In Prison For Ponzi Scheme

Kiddar Capital founder Todd Hitt

Real estate developer Todd Hitt will serve prison time after pleading guilty to a $20M Ponzi scheme. 

Judge Leonie Brinkema handed Hitt a 6.5-year sentence Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria, the Washington Business Journal reports

Hitt, the former CEO of Kiddar Capital and a member of the real estate family behind Hitt Contracting, was charged in October with a scheme to defraud investors on real estate projects. He pleaded guilty in February to a charge of securities fraud. 

Kiddar Capital employed about 10 people in its Falls Church office. The company claimed to manage $1.4B in assets, but an employee cooperating with the FBI investigation could only account for $27M in assets. The investigation also found that Hitt lied to investors about putting his own equity into deals, and spent money from investors on unrelated ventures including paying off a $230K credit card bill with charges to a luxury jewelry brand, a private flight chartering service and a resort. 

When pleading guilty in February, Hitt admitted he failed to disclose to investors that he was using their funds for unrelated projects and to support his lifestyle. During Friday's sentencing, he apologized for the pain he caused his family. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Lytle called Hitt's offense a "colossal Ponzi scheme." Sentencing guidelines called for eight to 10 years, but Lytle said that a $20M restitution payment Hitt's family paid to the victims played a role in the 6.5-year sentence. He will spend three years on supervised release after the end of his prison term. 

The court-appointed receiver in charge of liquidating Kiddar Capital's assets said he has received cooperation from Hitt and his family. The largest investment Hitt made with Kiddar Capital, a five-story Herndon office building, was given to an investor group following a March settlement.