Flamboyant stockbroker Clyde B. Pitchford Jr., who flew out of town three months ago a free-wheeling playboy, returned today handcuffed in the back seat of a brown police cruiser looking like a disheveled extra from the cast of "Miami Vice."
It was a strange homecoming for the man who once was a darling of the Richmond social scene, financing a jet-set life style of expensive show horses, a Rolls-Royce and extravagant pledges to political candidates and charities.
Pitchford, 31, with a deep tan and sun-streaked brown hair, waived extradition from the District, where he surrendered to the FBI Monday, ending an international search for the socialite-turned-fugitive. He is scheduled to be arraigned here Wednesday morning on charges that he swindled friends and clients out of more than $750,000 and skipped out owing millions more to a half-dozen banks in Virginia and Florida.
Since his disappearance, dozens of tangled business deals have come under the scrutiny of state and federal prosecutors. Among them are reports that Pitchford:Defaulted on an $825,000 loan from a Charlottesville firm, Amvest Funding Co., that was used to buy a dozen international jumping horses. Became involved with an alleged former New York racketeer in a complicated loan to a pay telephone company that cost a Florida bank nearly $6 million. The man, who was given a new identity under a federal witness protection program, reportedly visited the exclusive Commonwealth Club here looking for Pitchford shortly after his disappearance. Embezzled more than $730,000 from clients of E.F. Hutton & Co. and Dean Witter Co., where he formerly worked. Hutton fired him Feb. 28 and has said it will cover losses sustained by its customers. Secured a seat on the board of directors of the Florida Center Bank in Orlando last fall after reportedely promising to shift a large of amount of money there from Rex Group Inc., an investment group for which he was secretary.
His partners in Rex, state Sen. A. Joseph Canada Jr. (R-Virginia Beach), who is a candidate for Congress in Virginia's 2nd District, and former Olympic eques- trian Hugh Wiley of Palmyra, Va., later signed statements alleging that Pitchford had forged their names to documents guaranteeing several large loans. Defaulted on more than $1 million in loans from five Richmond banks, some of which he obtained by submitting an inflated financial statement that said his share of the Florida bank was worth $5 billion. The Florida bank subsequently became insolvent and was closed by the Florida Department of Banking and Financing.
On a smaller scale, Pitchford apparently reneged on a number of pledges he made to local charities and politicians.
A Richmond clothing store is suing him for more than $2,000 worth of clothes Pitchford said he bought for 1985 Republican gubernatorial nominee Wyatt B. Durrette.
In additon his Rolls-Royce was repossessed and he failed to make good on pledges to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where he occasionally dropped $100 bills into the collection plate. He also reneged on promised contributions to his school, the University of Richmond.
At his extradition appearance before D.C. Superior Court Commissioner Evelyn C. Queen, Pitchford said no more than "yes, your honor" to a series of four questions regarding his decision to waive the hearing.
"I've been waiting since Feb. 17 for this," said Richmond Detective John Maklary as he left the D.C. courtroom to arrange for Pitchford's return to Richmond.
"I had no idea where he was," said Maklary, who said Pitchford was carrying $150 when he turned himself in. "I've got it right here," he said, patting his pocket.
Until he surrendered to FBI agents at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in Washington Monday afternoon, Pitchford had not been seen since Feb. 12, when he was disappeared from his room at the posh Sherry Netherland Hotel in New York.
Pitchford reportedly had gone to New York to seek a loan to cover mounting debts arising from schemes that included the attempted takeover of a Florida bank.
David C. Eberhart III, the assistant commonwealth's attorney who has led the search for Pitchford, since he was last seen in New York, said he did not learn anything about Pitchford's odyssey during the two-hour drive from Washington.
"We talked about the time of day," said Eberhart.
Pitchford's homecoming may end the cottage industry of "Where's Clyde?" paraphernalia -- T-shirts, posters and bumper stickers. An auction of personal belongings removed from his twin penthouses has been scheduled for June 13.
Auctioneer Richard L. Motley has rented the 6,000-seat Arthur Ashe Center, usually used for athletic events here, for the sale that will be used to make partial payments to nearly 90 creditors who have filed claims against the former E.F. Hutton account executive.
On the auction block will be oriental rugs, Chinese paintings, antique furniture, china, closets full of clothing, a large collection of shoes (each in its own shoetree), skis, riding clothes, polo mallets and lacrosse sticks.
"He's very sporty," said Linda Motley, the auctioneer's wife.Staff writer Elsa Walsh contributed to this report