Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A 32-year-old Florida man convicted in a real-estate flipping scheme was sentenced Friday to 57 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution.

Joseph Haymore was convicted along with five co-defendants after a trial in February.

“We appreciate the diligence of the court, however, we intend to fight on in the appellate court,” Haymore’s attorney, Dyke Huish, said.

Craig Shults, who was the first to receive his punishment from U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford on Monday, was sentenced to 90 months and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.

Co-defendant Paul Licausi is set to be sentenced Tuesday. Co-defendant Sylvia Melkonian is scheduled for sentencing in March.

Federal prosecutors wanted Shults to get 166 months in prison. He has been imprisoned for about a year, his attorney, James Riddet, said.

“I was shooting for around 55 to 56 months,” Riddet said.

Shults intends to appeal his Feb. 19 conviction, he said.

According to federal prosecutors, the defendants ripped off investors, who were told about properties that could be acquired and resold within a year for a profit when they were nearly impossible to sell.

Starting in 2009 and continuing through the middle of 2010, investors were told that for less than $10,000 they could buy properties that would be ready for renting within three months, according to the indictment.

In some cases, the properties did not exist. In other instances, properties were condemned, or there were issues with titles that made them difficult to sell, according to prosecutors.

City News Service

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