MN Man Pleads Guilty in $5M House-Flipping Scheme
A man from Cottage Grove pleaded guilty on Friday to defrauding investors in a real estate scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Robert W. Dufresne, 46, admitted in federal court in Minneapolis to defrauding investors out of more than $5 million in a house-flipping scheme that spread across multiple states.
Dufresne, who was charged on February 7, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
Dufresne's crime took place between October 2005 and October 2008, according the U.S. Attorney's Office. In his plea agreement, Durfresne admitted to soliciting investors to provide money-supposedly for the purchase, rebuilding, and resale of residential properties in Minnesota and other states. Investors were under the impression that money from the sale of the properties would be divided among them, but Dufresne allegedly kept the invested money for himself and used funds from new investors to pay off the old ones.
Dufresne faces up to 20 years in prison for the mail fraud charge, as well as 10 years for the money laundering charge.
He will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis at a date that has not yet been set.
The case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lewis, is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the criminal investigation division of the Internal Revenue Service.