Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 1, 2014

Chesterfield man sentenced to 4 years for fraud


Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — A Chesterfield County man has been sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding military personnel and their families.

Vernon Matthews pleaded guilty to mail fraud last September. He was sentenced Friday in federal court in Richmond.

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.