Federal Agents Raid French Consulting 

Federal authorities and state police raid offices of Justin French.

click to enlarge french.jpg

Federal authorities and state police are raiding the offices of French Consulting in Shockoe Slip this morning, officials say.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the InteriorAÿand state policeAÿare involved in the raid, a state police official says.AÿAgentsAÿcould be seen from the streetAÿremoving and reviewing paper and electronic files inside the offices.

French Consulting, owned by embattled developer Justin G. French, is located at 1314 E. Cary St. French, who is embroiled in a public battle with Markel Corp. over several historic development projects around Richmond, wasn't in the office, according to a state police officer on the scene.

“You're not going to be able to interview him today,” the police official says, declining to give his full name to a Style reporter. The officer says that French is not under arrest.

The scope of the investigation, however, is unclear. In addition to his legal battle with Markel, the state Department of Historic Resources is reviewing a “substantial number” of the developer's properties related to state and federal historic preservation tax credits, Kathleen Kilpatrick, director of DHR, told Style last week.

A state police official on the scene Thursday morning declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

A source close to the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells Style that the raid is part of a “very wide investigation of business practices and dealings with Mr. French, of which attempts to abuse tax credits are a part of.”

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