Granite Bay Property Investor Indicted for Mail and Wire Fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against John Stuart Hill, 32, of Granite Bay, charging him with wire fraud and mail fraud, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Hill was indicted on April 28, 2016, and the indictment had been sealed until today, when he was arraigned by United States Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan. The defendant entered a not guilty plea.
According to court documents, between August 9, 2011, and April 2013, Hill, acting under the business name Granite Bay Investment Partners (GBIP), solicited and received money from investors who intended that their money would be used to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell residential property in the Sacramento area. In reality, the indictment alleges that Hill used the money for his own personal expenses, made false accounting entries on statements he sent to his investors, and misrepresented the purchase and resale prices of the properties in question. In some cases, the properties that Hill alleged his investors to be rehabilitating had never been purchased by Hill or GBIP. In other cases, multiple investors were told that they were partners on the same property in order to increase the amount invested to far above the purchase and rehabilitation costs. According to court documents, Hill received at least $1.9 million from investors, only $600,000 of which was ever returned, leaving at least $1.3 million unaccounted for.
Hill was ordered detained pending trial. His next court appearance is scheduled for August 18, 2016, before United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr.
This case was the product of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Matthew G. Morris is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Hill faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.