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Get-rich-quick scam nets man 4 years in prison

The promise of a big pay day – $1 million on a $100,000 investment in just 30 days – cost investors across the world, including the National Association of Home Builders, millions of dollars.

Michael K. Martin, 48, of Virginia Beach, Va., was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to four years in prison for his role in the fraud.

The case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys MaryEllen Kresse and Elizabeth R. Moellering, centered around the allegation that Martin, Christopher Venti of Hamburg and others peddled fraudulent financial packages. The case was prosecuted here because Venti was the lead defendant. He was sentenced in January to 46 months in prison.

Defense lawyer Joseph J. Terranova said he believes Martin genuinely believed early on that the financial packages were legitimate.

Martin, who was investigated by the FBI, was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution.

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