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Chesterfield man admits cheating military members

Wednesday - 9/4/2013, 4:18am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Chesterfield County man has pleaded guilty to defrauding military personnel and their families.

Vernon Matthews faces a maximum of 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud Tuesday in federal court in Richmond. Sentencing is set for Dec. 6.

Matthews operated First Capital Group in Virginia Beach. In court papers, the 42-year-old Matthews admitted soliciting investments from military members and their dependents and misrepresenting how their money would be used and how much interest they would earn. He received more than $235,600 from July 2010 to May 2013 and used most of it for his own benefit.

The mail fraud count stemmed from investments by a U.S. Naval Academy graduate attending medical school. She persuaded Matthews to return her investments, but the $32,328 check bounced.

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