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North Carolina man sentenced to prison, ordered to pay restitution for role in investment scheme

A North Carolina man has been sentenced to prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded his victims under the guise of investments to build student housing, a federal prosecutor said.

Acting U.S. Attorney William T. Stetzer said in a news release that Joseph Maurice Deberry, 57, of Charlotte, was sentenced by a judge to 57 months in prison and was also ordered to serve three years under court supervision and pay full restitution to his victims.

The sentence was handed down on Monday. Deberry pleaded guilty last June.

Court documents indicate that from 2016 to June 2019, Deberry induced victims he met through online dating sites to invest in entities with which he was affiliated. He typically told investors that their money would be used for student housing construction projects at certain colleges in the Carolinas, as well as other ventures.

According to the documents, Deberry lied about his success in student housing projects and how he would invest the victims’ money, instead using it for rent, entertainment and travel, the documents said.

The court also noted that, among other things, Deberry filed a fraudulent character letter on his behalf that purported to be from a former NFL player.

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