DES MOINES —
A Pella woman could face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines after pleading guilty in a federal fraud case.
Beverly Joan DeRonde, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud as part of a plea bargain. She had been accused of improperly receiving an estimated $731,950 over the course of seven years and faced 12 separate counts of mail fraud.
Prosecutors say DeRonde asked friends, relatives and acquaintances to loan her money under the guise of funding surprise parties, anniversary presents and other activities. She promised to pay back the money with large amounts of interest, sometimes going so far as to write a check to repay the borrowed money with instructions to cash the check at a later date.
The U.S. Attorney's office says DeRonde admitted to using the money to purchase items including antiques, jewelry and Rolex watches. She also used some of the loans to repay money she previously borrowed.
Sentencing is set for April 5, 2013.