MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 47-year-old Cottage Grove man was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Tuesday after defrauding investors out of more than $5 million in a house-flipping scheme that covered several states.
Robert W. Dufresne was sentenced in Minneapolis Federal Court Tuesday on one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with the case. Dufresne was also ordered to pay more than $6.5 million in restitution.
The sentence was longer than normal guidelines after the court learned Dufresne attempted to dispose of assets after pleading guilty on Feb. 18, 2011. He was charged on Feb. 7, 2011.
In the plea agreement, Dufresne admitted from October 2005 to October 2008, he sought investors for funds in connection with the purchase, rebuilding and resale of residential properties in Minnesota and other states. Investors expected proceeds from the sales to be divided among them, but instead Dufresne used the initial money for his own benefit and used other funds to pay off investors.