CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The former owner of a Fairmont mall has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for bankruptcy and tax fraud.
U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said Dietrich Fansler, 59, of Morgantown, was sentenced Thursday after earlier guilty pleas.
Powell said Fansler, as managing member of Pin Oak Properties, collected rent from tenants at the Middletown Mall after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2017 but didn’t deposit it 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 failed to withhold income taxes from employees, didn’t pay taxes for another company he owned and admitted he didn’t pay personal income taxes for years 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. The total loss to the IRS was more than $880,000.
Fansler has to pay the $225,000 back to the bankruptcy trustee and $880,000 back to the IRS.
Fansler pleaded guilty last September to one count of “Fraudulent Concealment of Bankruptcy Estate Assets” and one count of “Willful Failure to Pay Over Tax” in September 2019.