February 15, 2018
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Louisiana recently announced a five-count indictment charging Shreveport businessman David deBerardinis with defrauding more than $96 million from investors and financial institutions.
According to the press release, deBerardinis misrepresented himself through the use of fake documents, identities, business transactions, and other false information to obtain more than $96 million from investors and lending institutions. deBerardinis operated multiple business entities, representing himself as part of the petroleum industry involved in the sale, trade, and transport of fuel. The Department of Justice alleges that he attempted to cover his misconduct by creating fake documents, banks statements, promissory notes, news articles, and even hired a makeup artist to disguise himself as an Orthodox Jewish businessman to try to obtain investor funds from a New York-based private equity group.
The Department of Justice is charging deBerardinis with four counts of wire fraud and one count of attempted bank fraud, which, if convicted, he faces 20 and 30 years in prison, respectively. Additionally, he faces a $1 million fine, restitution, forfeiture, and five years of supervision for each count.