Charles “Todd” Hill, 58, starred on “Flip It to Win It” in 2013. He has been ordered to pay $9.4 million in restitution for committing real estate fraud.

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A former HGTV star who was once known as “Mr. Flip It” has been sentenced to four years in prison and a payment of $9.4 million in restitution following his 2019 conviction of committing real estate fraud, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office announced on Tuesday.

Charles “Todd” Hill, 58, starred in the home design network’s sole season of Flip It to Win It, which aired in 2013. The show’s premise was that five teams of flippers bid against each other for abandoned houses, sight unseen, before flipping three of the winning properties and trying to sell them for a profit. However, in reality, Hill “spent millions on overbudget remodels, laundered profits and pocketed millions in fraudulently obtained money,” the District Attorney’s office said.

Hill was indicted in 2019, and last September admitted to committing grand theft against his victims and admitted to aggravated white-collar enhancements.

The slick Los Gatos native’s dirty dealings first came to light a few months after Flip It to Win It aired when his former top investor, Max Keech, sued Hill after not receiving his share of the profits. Keech alleged that he had funded over 90 percent of Hill’s flipping projects, while Hill kept the money for work “that was never performed,” cooked the books and kept all profits for himself.

Further cases of fraud then came to light over the course of the investigation, totaling 11 victims who had been cheated by Hill.

In one Ponzi scheme, Hill took an investor’s money that had been allocated to buy homes, and instead, “used it to live lavishly,” the District Attorney’s office said. Hill laundered the money, then used it on a rental apartment in San Francisco, as well as vacations, hotels and luxury cars.

In another case, an investor had provided Hill with $250,000 to renovate a home, and subsequently went to tour the property, only to find it was a “burnt down shell with no work done on it.”

“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.”

Email Lillian Dickerson

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