HUNTLEY – A Huntley man was sentenced on Monday to nearly four years in federal prison for defrauding friends out of more than $1 million over the course of about 17 years.
Frank L. Beaudette, 61, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in December after admitting to obtaining loans from at least 25 people by lying about why he needed their money.
In addition to his 45-month prison sentence, Beaudette also must pay $1,050,809.02 in restitution.
In his plea agreement, Beaudette admitted that he usually tried to befriend his victims and persuaded them to lend him money, often telling them that he had a friend in the computer business who needed capital to complete a large sale of equipment.
He said he would give the money to his "friend," and gave the victims promissory notes saying that he would pay them back, along with large amounts of interest.
However, no such friend existed and Beaudette used the money for personal expenses.
Beaudette also admitted that when the promissory notes came due, he would tell the victims that he couldn't repay because his "friend" hadn't been able to collect what was owed to him.
Beaudette often promised that he would repay them with profits from a business he owned, Thunderbird Aviation, which brokered airplanes.
The victims sometimes gave him more money after he said he needed it until an upcoming airplane sale was completed.
Beaudette had faced up to 20 years in prison.