Medinah man sentenced in multimillion dollar fraud scheme

Updated 11/2/2017 7:30 AM

A former real estate broker from Medinah has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a credit card scheme that generated millions of dollars in financial losses.

Sebastian Deptula, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to wire fraud after an FBI investigation.

He also was ordered to pay $3.6 million in restitution to victims and another $3.6 million in forfeiture to the government.

Deptula and other conspirators obtained money and property without paying back the credit card companies, according to an FBI affidavit.

As part of the scheme, Deptula applied for credit cards using the names and personal information of other cooperating individuals. Typically, they obtained several credit cards for each person to maximize the total amount of credit available.

When the co-conspirators received the credit cards, they would rapidly purchase items, including expensive electronics, so the limits could be reached before the card was frozen. Deptula also often extended the active period of the credit card by making or directing others to make unfunded payments.

Deptula usually took a 20 percent cut of the profits, either through merchandise or prepaid debit or credit cards.

When FBI agents raided his home in Medinah, they reported finding large amounts of merchandise, much of which was unused and in its packaging.

In the affidavit, FBI agents said they gathered "voluminous" financial records as evidence in the case.

They also sifted through trash bags on the curb in front of Deptula's home and found numerous records consistent with his established pattern of fraud.

Twenty other defendants are listed in the criminal case, but none has been sentenced, FBI spokesman Special Agent Garrett Croon said.

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