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Press Release

Manager of Middletown Mall sentenced for bankruptcy and tax fraud

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

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Dietrich S. Fansler, former owner of the Middletown Mall, was sentenced today to 18 months incarceration for bankruptcy fraud and tax fraud, U.S. 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” in September 2019. 

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.

Fansler was ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution to the bankruptcy trustee, as well as $880,446.82 in restitution to the IRS.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod J. Douglas prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Internal Revenue Service investigated.

U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Kleeh presided.

Updated February 13, 2020