The Washington Post

Richmond man sentenced to 16 years for tax credit scheme

A 40-year-old Richmond man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for stealing $11.2 million from federal and state tax credit programs that were meant to rehabilitate historic buildings.

Justin Glynn French pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions in U.S. District Court in Richmond.

According to court documents, French ran a real estate development company and sought state and federal historic tax credits as his firms worked to rehab historic properties in the Richmond area. He would inflate the amount of rehab work on the buildings and got more than he should have in tax credits.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

“Justin French lined his pockets with millions in stolen tax dollars and defrauded more than 100 investors,” said U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride. He said French spent lavishly on “a beach house, a personal jet, and trips to Las Vegas” while investors “lost their retirement funds, their medical care accounts, and their kids’ college funds.”

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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