North Port man gets 10 years for fake $ 85,000 cancer diagnosis program
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla .– A North Port man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after he was arrested in August for fraudulently raising more than $ 85,000 claiming he was diagnosed with cancer.
Jason Depretis was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation and was ordered to pay $ 87,313.82 in restitution after defrauding people with false cancer diagnoses, according to the state attorney’s office .
Depretis was arrested after he scammed Charlotte County businesses, including his mother’s employer and others, by creating bogus fundraisers and fraudulent medical bills, according to lawmakers.
He fabricated medical documents from numerous medical providers claiming he was suffering from a severe form of cancer.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said Depretis’ family and friends created two GoFundMe accounts and a Facebook Fundraiser account to raise donations for his cancer treatment.
A local business and the employer of a family member noticed a need when a cash advance was requested and offered to help the family, Charlotte County MPs said. The family member was trying to help with the cost of the treatment and had already donated a large amount of money.
The business owner received 229 pages of documents including letters, bills and bills from several different medical providers between October 2019 and January 2020. Charlotte County MPs said at the time that the owner donated money to cover medical expenses provided.
The company became suspicious when they realized Depretis appeared to be in good health, according to CCSO. A company representative tried to go with Depretis to pay the invoices on his behalf and directly to the supplier, but he got agitated and did not allow it saying that it was a violation of HIPAA law.
The rep went to pay the bills in person before Depretis and tried to pay, that’s when they found out that he was not a patient of the medical providers they had received documents for. Charlotte County MPs said the representative had followed him to several other providers and none of them had had him as a patient.
Economic crimes detectives have investigated and arrested Depretis on a conspiracy to defraud 50,000 or more, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives said the 229 documents were forged and fraudulently created by Depretis. Detectives confirmed that he received more than $ 85,000 in donations through various means.
Depretis was arrested by North Port police on August 11.