United States Courthouse in Santa Ana. Photo by John Schreiber.
United States Courthouse in Santa Ana. Photo by John Schreiber.

A 43-year-old Huntington Beach man convicted in a real-estate flipping scheme was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison this week, while two other co-defendants await their punishment on Friday and Tuesday, attorneys said Wednesday.

Craig Shults, convicted along with five co-defendants after a trial in February, was the first to learn his sentence from U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford on Monday. In addition to the prison term, Guilford  ordered Shults to pay $2 million in restitution.

Co-defendant Joseph Haymore is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, and co- defendant Paul Licausi is set to be sentenced Tuesday. In March, co-defendant Sylvia Melkonian’s is scheduled for sentencing.

Federal prosecutors wanted Shultz 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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