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Former HGTV star gets jail time for real estate fraud

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(KRON) — Charles “Todd” Hill, who starred on the HGTV show “Flip It to Win It,” was sentenced to jail in California for committing real estate and financial fraud against 11 victims, prosecutors said.

“The show’s concept was that he bought dilapidated homes, fixed them up, and then sold them for a profit. Instead, Hill spent millions on overbudget remodels, laundered profits, and pocketed millions in fraudulently obtained money,” the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office wrote.

Last week, a judge sentenced 58-year-old Hill to serve four years in jail and pay nearly $10 million in restitution to victims.

Hill was convicted last year of multiple fraud schemes, including scams perpetrated well before the show was launched, prosecutors said. 

“Evidence showed that Hill spent the laundered money on a rented apartment in San Francisco, as well as hotels, vacations, and luxury cars,” the DA’s office said.

Prosecutors said Hill created a Ponzi scheme by taking an investor’s money budgeted to buy homes and, instead, used it to live lavishly. To hide the theft, he created false balance sheets and got loans using fraudulent information. 

In another scheme, an investor toured a home for which he had provided Hill with $250,000 for remodeling. The investor discovered the home was a burnt down shell, and no work had been done on it.

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

Hill was indicted in November 2019. On September 27, 2023, he was convicted of grand theft against all victims and admitted the aggravated white-collar enhancements. Hill was ordered to pay back restitution in the amount of $9.4 million.

“Flip It to Win It” aired on HGTV for one season in 2014. In it, teams of renovators competed to flip homes around Silicon Valley.

Hill, nicknamed “Mr. Flip-It,” competed as one half of a duo on the show. According to a video clip from HGTV, Hill’s team secured the “largest profit” on the show from their flipping project. The duo reportedly netted $134,000 in profit.

Following sentencing, the Santa Clara County judge ordered Hill to immediately report to jail on April 16.

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