2013-09-11 / News Briefs


Michael Buettner

Matthew Farr was killed when his SUV ran off the road on Lucks Lane and struck a tree. Matthew Farr was killed when his SUV ran off the road on Lucks Lane and struck a tree. County man pleads guilty to federal mail fraud

A Chesterfield man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal mail fraud.

Vernon Matthews, 42, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court in Richmond on Dec. 6.

Prosecutors said Matthews owned a Virginia Beach-based company, First Capital Group, that offered investment services to members of the military. According to prosecutors, Matthews misrepresented how the investors’ funds would be used, the degree of security of the investments and the potential rates of return.

Matthews also falsely claimed his company was affiliated with well-known investment companies, including HB Group and American Funds. In connection with his guilty plea, Matthews admitted that he had no relationship with those two companies and that no investor funds were placed with either of those companies or any other investment-type company. Instead, he kept the investors’ money for his personal use, prosecutors said.

Between July 2010 and May 2013, Matthews received more than $235,600 in funds from the investors he defrauded, prosecutors said.

Two county fatalities among nine statewide over holiday weekend

Two crashes in Chesterfield County were among nine statewide that claimed lives over the Labor Day weekend, according to the Virginia State Police.

Chesterfield Police said Matthew Farr, 20, of the 1700 block of Westbury Ridge Drive in the Westbury subdivision, was killed on Sept. 2 when his 2001 Lexus SUV ran off the road on Lucks Lane and hit a tree.

The same day, a vehicle driven by Hui Kyong Maxwell, 62, of the 8800 block of Chester Forest Lane in the Treemont subdivision, ran off Hopkins Road and crashed into the Korean Baptist Church. A passenger in the vehicle, Pyong Kil Kang, 75, of Sunnyvale, Calif., later died at an area hospital.

State Police said this year’s statewide Labor Day death toll of nine was up by three from last year. Overall this year, however, the number of lives lost in traffic accidents through Sept. 3 was down to 458 compared with 514 in the same period a year ago.

Suspects sought in string of fast-food robberies

Police are asking for the public’s help tracking down two men who appear to be targeting McDonald’s restaurants for armed holdups in the early morning hours.

County police said two men robbed the McDonald’s at 7400 Hull Street Road around 1 a.m. on Sept. 2. Two men armed with handguns approached an employee outside and ordered her back into the restaurant. Once inside, the suspects ordered the victims to lie on the floor. The suspects took cash from the register and items from the victims before fleeing.

About 5:50 a.m. the same day, two men robbed the McDonald’s at 2300 Willis Road. Again, police said, two men armed with handguns approached employees outside the restaurant and ordered them inside. The suspects took a cellphone but were not able to get any cash from the restaurant.

Investigators believe the two robberies are related to the Aug. 9 robbery of the Mc- Donald’s in the Hancock Village shopping center off Hull Street Road. In that incident, two armed men entered the store around 1:30 a.m. and ordered the employees to the floor. The suspects took cash from the restaurant and items from the victims before fleeing.

Both suspects are described as black males about 16 to 25 years old, around 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. In the latest incidents, one was wearing black jeans, a dark-colored Adidas jacket and black shoes. The other wore dark pants and a dark shirt and was carrying a black book bag. Both men wore masks and gloves.

Anyone who has information is asked to call the Chesterfield County Police Department at 748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 748- 0660. Residents can also submit a tip at or text WATSON plus the tip to 274637 (CRIMES).

Bluegrass festival coming this month

The Virginia Folk Music Association will hold its 2013 Jumpin’ Bluegrass Festival Sept. 12-15 at the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, 10300 Courthouse Road.

Performers will include Ralph Stanley, who will be inducted into the Virginia Country and Bluegrass Hall of Fame. Other acts will include Nathan Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Carolina Road, Appalachian Express, Code Blue, Copper Ridge, Willis River, Heavy Duty, East of Afton, Mill Run, Old Dogs New Tricks, Rappahannock Crossing, Brandon Skinner, Milford Station, Sleepy Hollow, Amy Ladd and Homeward Bound.

A contest for bluegrass bands will be featured on Sunday, Sept. 15, with a prize of $1,000 for first place. There is an entry fee of $10 per person.

Tickets are $10 per day for Thursday and Sunday, and $15 for Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call Sigrid Williams at 744-7514 or visit

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