May 29, 2024
Charles "Todd" Hill, ex-star of HGTV’s "Flip It to Win It," was also ordered to pay $9.4 million to 11 victims.

LOS GATOS – The ex-star of HGTV’s “Flip It to Win It” show was sentenced Tuesday to four years in jail and ordered to pay $9.4 million for committing real estate and financial fraud against 11 victims, prosecutors said.

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The sentence follows 58-year-old Los Gatos resident Charles “Todd” Hill’s conviction last fall on grand theft charges, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The television show centered on Hill, also known as “Mr. Flip It,” and his efforts to purchase dilapidated homes, fix them up and then sell them for a profit. Prosecutors said Hill instead spent millions on over-budget remodels, laundered profits and pocketed millions in fraudulently obtained money.

“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.”

In one case, Hill diverted construction money for his personal use, prosecutors said.

Hill also created a Ponzi scheme in which he used funds supplied by an investor to buy homes to instead live lavishly, according to the district attorney’s office. He hid the theft by creating false balance sheets and taking out loans using fraudulent information.

The Ponzi scheme was among a number of scams Hill carried out prior to the show.

Prosecutors said another investor toured a home for which he had provided $250,000 for remodeling and found it to be a burned down shell with no work done to it.

Victims who spoke at Tuesday’s sentencing said they were still suffering financial and professional damages from the fraud, according to the district attorney’s office.

In addition to the jail term and restitution, Hill was ordered to serve 10 years of probation.