A Richmond, Va., real estate developer admitted that he asked for more money than what he needed -- anywhere from $7 million to $20 million -- from federal and tax credit programs to rehabilitate historic properties in the city.

Justin Glynn French, 40, pleaded guilty to defrauding federal and state tax credit programs, which were intended to revitalize historic Richmond.

Since 2005, French has applied for historic rehabilitation tax credits on at least 35 properties in Richmond.

In one incident, French purchased a property for $700,000 and expected rehabilitation costs of about $200,000. However, in applications to the tax credit programs he listed rehabilitation costs at more than $1.5 million. Ultimately, he received tax credits of more than $707,000, still more than $500,000 over what he needed.

French faces up to 30 years in prison.

Source: “Richmond Developer Pleads Guilty to Defrauding State, Federal Tax Credit Programs,” Associated Press (Jan. 25, 2011)