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Ex-reality TV star ordered to serve jail term, pay nearly $10M for Bay Area scams

A former HGTV star was sentenced Tuesday to four years in jail and ordered to pay back almost $10 million for defrauding 11 people, Santa Clara County prosecutors said.

Charles “Todd” Hill, the 58-year-old star of the show “Flip It to Win It,” was remanded to jail after the sentence, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Hill’s show’s concept was that he bought dilapidated homes, fixed them up and then sold them for a profit. Instead, he spent millions on overpriced remodels, then laundered profits and pocketed millions of money he got out of fraud, prosecutors said.

Hill was indicted in November 2019 after a countywide investigation showed that he had committed fraud against multiple victims. In 2023, he was convicted of multiple fraud schemes and grand theft against all victims, and he admitted to aggravated white-collar enhancements. He was ordered to pay back restitution amounting to more than $9.4 million and serve 10 years on probation.

Evidence showed that Hill laundered money on a rented apartment in San Francisco, as well as hotels, vacations, and luxury cars. He was also discovered to have diverted construction money for his personal use.

Prosecutors said Hill created a Ponzi scheme by taking investor funds to buy homes and used them to live lavishly. To hide his crime, he created false balance sheets and got loans using fake information.

An investor toured a home for which he supposedly had provided $250,000 for remodeling and found it to be nearly worthless, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Victims said they are still suffering financial and professional damages from Hill’s schemes.

“Some see the huge amount of money in Silicon Valley real estate as a business opportunity,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “Others, unfortunately, see it as a criminal opportunity — and we will hold those people strictly accountable.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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