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HGTV star sentenced to 4 years in prison and ordered to pay back $10M – here's why

Former Flip It To Win It star Charles "Todd" Hill committed several acts of fraud

Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
23 April 2024
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Charles "Todd" Hill is trading in flipping houses on television for some prison time instead.

The former HGTV star, 58, has been sentenced to four years in Santa Clara County Jail for committing several fraudulent schemes.

Todd – who starred in the first and only season of HGTV'S Flip It To Win It, which aired in 2013 and saw six teams of real estate experts compete against each other through various renovation challenges – was first indicted in November 2019 after an investigation from the District Attorney.

In addition to his four-year prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay back almost $10 million ($9,402,678.43) for committing both real estate and financial fraud against 11 victims.

Per a press release from the County of Santa Clara's Office of the District Attorney: "On September 27, 2023, he was convicted by plea of grand theft against all victims and admitted the aggravated white-collar enhancements. He was ordered to pay back restitution in the amount of $9,402,678.43 and serve 10 years on probation."

It detailed how through the HGTV show, Todd "spent millions on over budget remodels, laundered profits, and pocketed millions in fraudulently obtained money."

The cast and crew of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition at the Fifita family home in Hawthorne on Thursday, September 12, 2019© Getty
HGTV is known for their several shows in which stars "flip" and remodel homes

He was also involved in a Ponzi scheme – an investment fraud where the perpetrator fools victims into believing non-existent high rewards from their investments – before he starred in Flip It To Win It.

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"Evidence showed that Hill spent the laundered money on a rented apartment in San Francisco, as well as hotels, vacations, and luxury cars," the press release further reads.

Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, California© Getty
Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose, California

His victims were in attendance at the April 16 hearing when he was sentenced, and several shared that they were "still suffering financial and professional damages from the fraud."

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Chip Gaines in a blue suit and Joanna Gaines in a black dress smiling on TV© NBC
Chip and Joanna Gaines, now with Magnolia Networks, are some of the biggest stars to come out of HGTV

In one instance, Todd made a Ponzi scheme by "taking an investor's money budgeted to buy homes," and instead spent the money "lavishly" for his own personal gain. Another one of his investors had given $250,000 to remodel a home, and upon touring it, "found it to be a burnt down shell with no work done on it."

In order to conceal the schemes, Todd committed more fraud by creating false balance sheets and obtaining loans based on false information.

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