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Cottage Grove Man Sentenced for Defrauding Investors in a House-Flipping Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 06, 2012
  • District of Minnesota (612) 664-5600

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 47-year-old Cottage Grove man was sentenced for defrauding investors out of more than $5 million in a multi-state, house-flipping scheme. United States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis sentenced Robert W. Dufresne, Jr. to 97 months in federal prison on one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in relation to his crime. In addition, Dufresne was ordered to pay more than $6.5 million in restitution. The sentence was longer than expected because the court found that Dufresne had obstructed justice by seeking to dispose of assets after entering his guilty plea on February 18, 2011. He was charged on February 7, 2011.

In his plea agreement, Dufresne admitted that between October of 2005 and October of 2008, he sought investors to supply funds purportedly for the purchase, rebuilding, and resale of residential properties in Minnesota and other states. Investors expected the sale proceeds to be divided among them. However, Dufresne used the initial investment funds for his personal benefit and relied on subsequent investment funds to pay off the initial investors.

This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert M. Lewis and James S. Alexander.

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