Ex-mall owner in West Virginia sentenced on fraud charges

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A former mall owner in West Virginia was sentenced to one year and six months in federal prison Thursday for bankruptcy and tax fraud.

Dietrich Fansler, 59, is the managing member of Pin Oak Properties, which operated Middletown Mall in Fairmont. Fansler filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June 2017.

Prosecutors said Fansler admitted that between June 2017 and the following January, he was required to deposit rent collected from the mall’s tenants into a special account but used about $225,000 of that for unrelated expenses. He also admitted concealing the action and failing to pay personal and employee withholding taxes.

Fansler, of Morgantown, was ordered to pay more than $880,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the diverted rent.