“It’s important we send a message that if people are going to flip properties, they’re not going to do it here … especially in our working-class neighborhoods.” – The Honorable Susan J. Dlott, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio
Two men described as ringleaders of a $50 million “flipping” scam in Greater Cincinnati, Ohio were each sentenced to serve four years in prison and order to perform community service in the neighborhoods affected by their fraud scheme.
Ronald Trester, 52, Cincinnati, Ohio was sentenced to 46 months in prison, five years supervised release and was ordered to pay the IRS $223,964.37 in back taxes for 1998 through 2001. Trester was charged by information on June 9, 2005 and plead guilty to conspiracy, bank fraud and income tax evasion in connection with his role as owner of the mortgage brokerage Charter First Banc, Fairfield, Ohio. He was involved in flip transactions involving approximately 185 homes and $6.5 million in loans.
Steven Minger, 35, Cape Coral, Florida was sentenced to 48 months in prison, five years supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $90,000 to the IRS. Minger was charged by information on May 20, 2005 and plead guilty to conspiracy, bank fraud and income tax evasion in connection with his role as a loan officer and recruiter of other industry professionals in the flipping of 51 properties involving $9.8 million in loans.
Each of the defendants were also sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service to be served during the period of their supervised release. According to media reports, they will need to serve these hours working for organizations that promote home ownership and better living conditions in neighborhoods impacted by real estate flipping.
Restitution for lending industry losses will be ordered at a later date. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amul Thapar asked the judge to consider parceling restitution proceeds into the restoration of homes whose conditions worsened after flipping and foreclosure.