- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Former Alabama attorney Christopher Shawn Linton had all the appearances of being a success, including buying a $560,000 home, traveling on private jets and taking trips to Caribbean islands.

Now he’s planning another trip. This time his destination is federal prison.

Linton, 35, of Alabaster was sentenced Thursday to five years and 11 months in prison for bilking a dozen investors out of $2.8 million. He must report to prison Sept. 22.

“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,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance said Friday.

The director of the Alabama Securities Commission, Joe Borg, said Linton’s case sends a powerful message that professional conduct will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

Prosecutors said Linton recruited investors for Integrity Capital LLC between 2009 and 2011 and started using part of the money for himself. His expenditures included improvements to his home, recreational vehicles, jewelry, Southeastern Conference football championship tickets to see Auburn University play, and a trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony for former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Linton posted a photo on Facebook of him and Newton at the ceremony, according to court records.

Prosecutors said the money came from investors, including a retired Birmingham firefighter, who had saved for their retirements and their children’s college educations.

Linton pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud, mail fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. He has also surrendered his law license. As part of his plea agreement, he is supposed to repay more than $2.5 million in restitution.

Prosecutors said his home can’t be used to satisfy part of that obligation because Linton used the house as collateral on business and personal loans, which take priority over a court judgment.

Linton’s public defender, Rick Burgess, said Linton is bipolar and that contributed to his behavior.

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