By CBS13 Staff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A Sacramento man was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison for pretending to be a lawyer and defrauding a couple out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

Derek Bluford, 34, was sentenced for money laundering, wire fraud, obstruction of a federal investigation and making false statements to the FBI.

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Bluford told the couple that he could serve as their attorney in a dispute they had with a tenant, officials said. He told the couple, after they agreed to work with him, that they had “incurred numerous fines and court costs, as well as costs to repair their rental unit,” the DOJ said.

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Bluford also told the couple he had negotiated a settlement with the tenant.

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In total, Bluford defrauded the couple out of $500,000.