Mortgage Fraud

Hartmann to Serve Up to 24 Months in Jail for Mortgage Fraud

by Michael R. Allen

One of Doug Hartmann’s wrists will sting — the city’s most prolific con artist has pled guilt to federal charges and heads to sentencing on June 23. At sentencing, Hartmann will face a maximum sentence on 24 months in prison and up to $1.25 million in fines. A press release from U.S. District Attorney Catherine Hanaway, who negotiated the plea bargain details more of Hartmann’s antics that were previously not publicized. The plea arrangement sounds like quite a bargain for Hartmann, who left in his wake over 100 historic buildings in various states of vacancy or incomplete rehabilitation across the city and numerous investors defrauded of their money and, in once case, a house.

One of the Hartmann properties owned under “DHP Properties” was the Nord St. Louis Turnverein in Hyde Park. After Hartmann’s ownership led to continued deterioration of the historic turner hall, the buidling suffered a severe fire in July 2006. Developer Peter George has since purcahsed the building and is trying to rebuild it.

Hanaway promises more prosecution of mortgage fraud artists like Hartmann. However, the light sentence may not send a very strong message to others. One could get more time in jail for possession of a small amount of crack.