The family of the disgraced Falls Church developer Todd Hitt, now serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for defrauding clients, has donated $16 million to a new Northern Virginia-based addiction prevention and recovery program launched by the Inova Health System. The program, Act on Addiction, will target people in Northern Virginia suffering from addiction, as well as family members and others who could benefit from learning the signs of addictions and where to go for help.
Part of the Falls Church area health system’s effort involves an “Act on Addiction Summit: Bridging the Gap for Young Adults,” set to take place Oct. 5, according to a report in this week’s Washington Business Journal.
According to the Journal, Dr. Michael Clark, chairman of psychiatry at Inova Health System, said, “We have seen firsthand the toll of addiction, not only on patients, but also on the family and friends who stand behind them,” and it added, “The Hitt family, owner of construction behemoth Hitt Contracting, echoed those sentiments in the announcement.
The gift and the program comes after a Hitt family member — former real estate developer Todd Hitt — was sentenced in June to to six and a half years in prison for what the FBI had called a “Ponzi-like” scheme, in which Todd Hitt admitted to using investor dollars to pay back other investors in his own investment firm and to fund a lavish lifestyle. Todd Hitt had not worked at Hitt Contracting, which was unconnected to any of the allegations.In the end, the Hitt family paid $20 million in restitution in what Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Lytle called a “unique and unprecedented” action by a defendant’s family members, according to court documents. Members of the Hitt family had written letters to the court ahead of Todd Hitt’s sentencing that discussed addiction or substance abuse issues within the family, while also sharing Todd Hitt’s positive traits.
Russell Hitt, Todd’s father and chairman emeritus of Hitt Contracting, had suggested “treatment” for Todd in his letter to the court.
“I strongly believe proper treatment, in conjunction with his prison sentence, will be productive for Todd, and prepare him for reentering society,” wrote Russell Hitt, whose father, Warren, founded Hitt Contracting. “If he is well, he will work and get involved in his community. His many talents will be shared with others. Todd has the support of his family.”