RICHMOND--A Richmond resident has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for defrauding members of his own family by promising to invest in real estate for them, then keeping the money, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Prosecutors say Marvin Solis, 30, took approximately $244,000 from his wife's relatives, promising to invest the funds. Instead he pocketed the cash and told relatives that he lost the money in risky commodities trades.

Solis also encouraged victims to open credit card accounts to fund renovations of the properties he promised to purchase for them, and ran up a $10,000 debt on the cards, according to the DOJ. He also used the personal information of one of his victims, without the victim's knowledge, to open a credit card account in the name of Solis's company, and then charged $26,600 on the card.

Solis pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud in January.

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