Mail Fraud scheme for three quarters of a million dollars could lead to prison time.
Beverly Joan DeRonde, age 61, of Pella, Iowa, pleaded guilty to
one count of mail fraud in a proceeding before United States Magistrate Judge Ross A. Walters, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. Sentencing has been scheduled
for April 5, 2013, at the United States Courthouse in Des Moines before Chief Judge James E. Gritzner.
DeRonde was charged with multiple counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleged that DeRonde obtained approximately $731,950 as a result of these offenses.
In a written plea agreement filed on January 4, 2013, DeRonde admitted that she engaged in a scheme to defraud multiple individuals and obtain money by false pretenses over a
seven-year period, from January 2003 through June 2010. DeRonde would ask various friends, relatives, and acquaintances to loan her money, supposedly for surprise birthday or anniversary
presents for her husband or to purchase equipment for a boat repair shop. She promised large amounts of interest and often would write a check at the time of the purported loan, instructing the individual loaning the money not to negotiate the check until a later date.
DeRonde admitted that she did not use the loan proceeds as represented but, instead, used the money to purchase antiques, jewelry, Rolex watches, and other consumer items. She also
used loan proceeds to repay loans she previously had obtained from other individuals.
DeRonde faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, or both a fine and imprisonment. Additionally, under the plea agreement,