Man accused of using makeup artist, disguise in fraud scheme

Source: Associated Press

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man hired a professional makeup artist and disguised himself as an Orthodox Jewish businessman during a long-running scheme to scam investors and banks out of more than $96 million, according to a federal indictment issued Thursday.

David D. deBerardinis, 56, of Shreveport, represented himself as a businessman in the petroleum industry and used false identities, phony bank statements and bogus news articles to perpetuate a fraud scheme that began in 2008 and lasted until at least July 2016, the indictment says.

The 10-page document doesn’t elaborate on how deBerardinis allegedly used a makeup artist and disguise in 2013 to get more investor funds from an unidentified equity group based in New York.

He is charged with four counts of wire fraud and one count of attempted bank fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the wire fraud counts and 30 years for the attempted bank fraud count. He also faces a $1 million fine, plus restitution and forfeiture, prosecutors said in a statement.

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