HUNTLEY – A Huntley man was sentenced Monday to nearly four years in federal prison for defrauding friends of more than $1 million over about 17 years.
Frank L. Beaudette, 61, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in December. He admitted he obtained loans from at least 25 people by lying about why he needed their money.
In addition to a 45-month prison sentence, Beaudette must pay $1,050,809.02 in restitution.
In his plea agreement, Beaudette admitted he usually tried to befriend his victims and persuade 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 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 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 could have received up to 20 years in prison.