Prosecutor: Convicted developer hoarded cash

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former developer has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining tax credits and then plotting to flee the country while he was supposed to be liquidating assets to raise money to repay his victims.

Prosecutor Michael Gill said Tuesday that Billy Gene Jefferson was awaiting sentencing for the $12 million tax credit scheme when he engaged in a "breathtaking campaign" of obstruction. The prosecutor says the scheme included hoarding cash — perhaps by stashing it in a homemade vault — and using a fake ID to charter a one-way flight to England that he ultimately backed out of.

Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 30 years, citing the egregious nature of Jefferson's actions. Defense attorney Charles James recommended a sentence of 12 years.

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