NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth man was sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding nearly 20 victims across the U.S. of almost $90,000 in several mail-fraud schemes, officials said.

55-year-old Richard Edward Hardy conspired with others to defraud victims using mail carriers in different schemes including: romance, real estate and others, according to court documents.

In one real-estate scheme, victims were instructed to send a security deposit and first month’s rent after responding to a false online property, listed for rent. Hardy cashed the money orders sent to his home in Portsmouth, and shared the money with his co-conspirators, officials said.

Hardy was convicted in December 2020 for similar conduct. After federal law enforcement searched his home in September 2022, Hardy continued to defraud additional victims in a change-of-address scheme, officials said.

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