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Richmond developer pleads guilty in tax break case

Thursday - 12/19/2013, 5:00pm  ET

LARRY O'DELL
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Richmond developer has pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars in tax credits for renovations of historic property.

Billy Gene Jefferson Jr. faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for fraud and engaging in illegal monetary transactions. He pleaded guilty to both counts Thursday in federal court in Richmond. He will be sentenced April 8.

The state and federal governments offer developers tax credits to offset the cost of rehabilitating historic buildings. Jefferson admitted overstating expenditures on several projects in Richmond's Fan District to fraudulently obtain in tax credits. As part of a plea agreement, he is required to make nearly $13 million in restitution.

Jefferson faces related charges in Richmond Circuit Court. His trial on charges of forgery and uttering is scheduled for Jan. 15.


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