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Press Release

Manager of Middletown Mall admits to bankruptcy and tax fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Dietrich S. Fansler, manager of Pin Oak Properties, has admitted to bankruptcy fraud and tax fraud, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Fansler, of Morgantown, West Virginia, is the managing member of Pin Oak Properties, LLC, which operated Middletown Mall in Fairmont. Fansler, age 59, pled guilty to one count of “Fraudulent Concealment of Bankruptcy Estate Assets” and one count of “Willful Failure to Pay Over Tax.” 

Fansler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2017. Between June 2017 and January 2018, Fansler collected rent from the tenants of the mall and was required to deposit that money into the debtor-in-possession account of Pin Oak Properties. Fansler admitted to using some of that collected rent, approximately $225,000, for expenses unrelated to Pin Oak Properties and concealing it from the creditors of the bankruptcy estate.

Fansler also admitted to failing to pay the withheld income taxes from employees of Pin Oak Properties and another one of his companies, Villa Rentals, Inc. He admits, too, that he did not pay personal income taxes for years 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. The total loss to the IRS is more than $880,000.

As a part of the plea, Fansler agrees to pay $225,000 in restitution to the bankruptcy trustee, as well as $880,446.82 in restitution to the IRS.

Fansler faces up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.

Updated September 30, 2019