Inheritance Fraud

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By Eric Weisfeld

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ Authorities say a 38-year-old Columbia man has admitted defrauding a finance company by inflating the amount of his mother's inheritance.

Prosecutors said Darial Chatman pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud in federal court and faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced next year.

Investigators say Chatman submitted false court filings and financial documents from his mother's estate to Inheritance Funding Company, Inc., a San Francisco business that advances money to people who expect to get substantial inheritances.

Authorities say Chatman made it look like his mother's estate was worth almost $3 million, so the company would loan him $500,000.

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