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House flip couple to pay $1.6 Million in restitution

Virginia couple agrees to settle lawsuit filed by DC's Office of Attorney General

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- A Virginia couple that engaged in illegal house flipping practices has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the District's Office of the Attorney General.

Insun and Jefferson Hofgard will pay $1.3 million in restitution to homeowners who purchased property from them. The Hofgards also have to pay an additional $300,000 in cost, half of that amount will be waived if the couple complies with the requirements of the agreement.

Attorney General Karl A. Racine says the settlement is just a down payment to homeowners who were victims of shoddy and dangerous renovations tht put scores of families in poorly constructed and unsafe homes.

"To the extent that the restitution fund, ahh, $1.3 million dollars is not enough there is provision in the settlement agreement for us to go right back to the Hofgards and get more money," Racine says.

The consent judgement and order also says that the Hofgards can only perform real estate construction activities with the AG's prior approval.

Any construction that they do can only be done to wind up their existing business.

And, they must ensure that the construction is in compliance with DC codes and zoning requirements.

The Attorney General Racine says the goal has always been to provide full restitution to people who dealt with the Hofgards.

But homeowners, like Brian Jacobson, who purchased renovated houses from Insun and Jefferson Hofgard says the settlement , though long in coming, is not significant enough considering the extent of damages to a number of homes the Hofgards sold.

"I think probably a better solution would have said put liens on the property they do have, and as they are sold, take the proceeds from those properties and give them to the fund so that the residents can be fully compensated for what's happened to them," says Brian Jacobson.

Homeowners will get either what it cost to bring their houses up to code or the amount that their home has decreased in value.

If you think you have been duped buy the Hofgards, the District's Office of Attorney General ask you to call 202-442-9828.

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