SHREVEPORT, La. (KTVE/KARD) — On Tuesday, 60-year-old David D. DeBerardinis of Shreveport, La. was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release for committing wire fraud and defrauding many people over $58 million.
A hearing will be held on Monday, March 28, at 9 a.m. to determine the exact amount of restitution that DeBerardinis will have to pay.
On Aug. 25, DeBerardinis pleaded guilty to Wire Fraud. DeBerardinis, a Shreveport-based executive, admitted that he operated and managed numerous business entities and he represented himself and his business entities to be part of the petroleum industry involved in a complex fuel trading business.
According to court evidence, he solicited and caused others to solicit, individual investors and financial institutions to provide funds for his businesses in exchange for interest payments and a guaranteed return of principal.
DeBerardinis told investors and financial institutions that he had a trading arrangement with Alon USA Energy, Inc. that generated profits that would be used to repay the investors and financial institutions when in truth he knew that he had no such arrangement with Alon.
From April 2014 to June 2015, PlainsCapital Bank provided $29.5 million to DeBerardinis to expand his fuel trading business.
The funding from PlainsCapital was made by several interstate wire transfers to one of DeBerardinins’ bank accounts in Shreveport. One of the wire transfers occurred approximately on Nov. 25, 2014, which totaled $17.1 million.
“As was evident in today’s sentencing hearing, this defendant spent many years conning not only business associates, but also friends who trusted him, out of millions of dollars and destroying many of their lives while doing so,” stated United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown.
“His cavalier attitude about the deception he used and the destruction that he caused is appalling. Seeking justice for victims such as these is what continues to drive us to work harder to weed out those who deploy such unconscionable acts.”
DeBerardinis was ordered to report to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on Wednesday, Feb. 16.