SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — The trial against a man accused of scamming investors and banks out of $96 million has been delayed so the defendant can undergo mental evaluation.
KTBS-TV reports the trial against 57-year-old Shreveport businessman David deBerardinis won’t begin Sept. 16 as planned. He’s been ordered to spend up to 45 days in a federal detention center for evaluation by a government professional.
His lawyers filed a motion with a report from a doctor who said deBerardinis may not be fit to stand trial.
He’s pleaded not guilty to federal charges accusing him of using false identities and phony bank statements to perpetuate a fraud scheme .
Michael Long, whose late brother Patrick was among those who lost money, says he thinks the motion is a tactic to delay or avoid trial.
Information from: KTBS-TV, http://ktbs.com