Guilty plea, 15-year sentence for Louisiana investment scam | Business

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SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A northwest Louisiana businessman pleaded guilty to wire fraud Wednesday and accepted a 15-year prison sentence in connection with an investment con that drew tens of millions of dollars from individuals and banks, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport said David DeBerardinis, 59, managed several business entities and claimed to be part of a complex energy industry trading business involving major players in the oil and gas industry. He used phony bank statements, fake checks, internet domains and documents to convince people and institutions to invest in what turned out to be non-existing fuel trading investments.

“DeBerardinis told investors and financial institutions that he had a preferential trading arrangement with Alon USA Energy, Inc. … that generated…

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