Reality star Todd Hill, better known to fans as Mr. Flip It, is facing the reality of a multi-million dollar fraud lawsuit. It seems as though the star of HGTV’s hit show “Flip It To Win It” won’t be flipping houses or winning any time soon. In fact, he may be losing.
The home improvement network’s show about Bay Area real estate starred Hill as a savvy, charming developer who snagged up old houses, renovated them at lightening speed, and then resold the properties for a quick, easy profit.
Now, Hill, of Los Gatos, is embroiled in a lawsuit after being accused of defrauding his top investor of $6 million. On top of that, his reality TV co-star and close friend Mike Kaufman has ended their friendship and cut all ties.
HGTV swiftly canceled plans for a second show following news of the lawsuit. Even Hill’s side gig of giving lectures on how to flip homes and turn a profit has ended.
Mike Kaufman, the other host of HGTV’s “Flip It to Win It,” said the allegations against his co-star both “shocked and saddened” him. When the show premiered last year, Hill and Kaufman were close family friends. Kaufman, who is also a Los Gatos native, felt he had little to no choice but to break off their friendship. The friends were the show’s dynamic duo power team, once turning a profit of $789,000 on one flipped house. Now it seems, Hill has flipped it to lose it all.
“I did my due diligence, and I was obviously concerned about public perception and my reputation, given the exposure we shared both in the community and on national television,” Kaufman said.
His cautions originated from a civil lawsuit by Woodside developer Max Keech, who claims Hill defrauded him by slowly siphoning off funds designed to rehab old properties. Hill “took money for work that was never performed” by “falsifying financial reports and an online tracking system,” according to court documents.
Details of the lawsuit also reveal Hill “expended significant amounts of funds in personal expenditures” at Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom and other retailers.
Hill, 48, has emphatically denied the allegations. “It’s not true, not a word of it,” he said. “It’s a private matter.”
He claims he and Keech decided to terminate their business partnership and that he, not Keech, is the one who is owed money. “We’re getting a divorce,” Hill said. “It’s all going to get worked out.”
Now that it seems Hill’s 15 minutes of fame is waning, viewers are left to their own devices in terms of how to quickly flip and sell properties. While the majority of the home’s focus was on interior remodeling, landscaping can be equally important when it comes to renovating properties, whether to turn their around for a quick profit or simply for a personal sale to another buyer.
According to Money magazine, landscaping can bring a recovery value of a whopping 100 to 200% at selling time. Books aren’t judged by their character, but houses are judged by their landscaping curb appeal.
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