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Old 05-03-2006, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default Man swindled 41 people out of $250,000

WORCESTER, Mass. -- A man who swindled 41 people out of a combined $250,000 in a Super Bowl ticket online scam was found guilty of wire and mail fraud on Tuesday.

The federal jury deliberated about three hours before finding Michael Deppe of Hudson, Mass., guilty of three counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.

Steven J. Rappaport, Deppe's lawyer, said the ticket scam was the brainchild of a business partner and that he would file an appeal based on incorrect instructions from the judge to the jury before deliberations.

Deppe, 21, had been barred from using the Internet at the time of the Super Bowl because of a guilty plea in another online merchandise scam.

Deppe set up the scam after meeting William Englehart through online auctions. The pair set up a company to sell sports memorabilia over the Internet.

Englehart testified during the trial that Deppe came up with the idea of selling tickets to the 2005 Super Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. He had two tickets and $11,000 in his car at the time of his arrest.

Rappaport said Englehart knew of Deppe's checkered past, used him, and took the cash.

Deppe is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 8 in the Super Bowl ticket case and a previous case in which he pleaded guilty to eight federal charges of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud in connection with the first merchandise scam.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution and three years of supervised release on each count.
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