NORTH PORT, FL – A North Port man accused of scamming a local Charlotte County business, and others, by creating fictitious fundraisers, and fraudulent medical bills. Jason F. Depretis, 42, is charged with scheme to defraud 50k or more after fabricating medical documents from numerous medical providers claiming he had a severe form of cancer. Legitimately concerned family members and friends created two GoFundMe accounts and one Facebook Fundraiser account with the purpose of collecting donations for Jason’s cancer treatments.
A local business and employer of Depretis’s family member, noticed a need when a cash advance was requested and offered to help the family. This family member, who had also given Depretis large amounts of money, was attempting to assist with the cost of his cancer treatment. From October 2019 to January 2020, the business owner received 229 pages of documents consisting of letters, bills, and invoices from several different medical providers. At the time, the owner would then supply the cash to cover the provided medical expenses.
After awhile, the business grew suspicious as Depretis seemed healthy. A business representative suggested to accompany Depretis to pay the bills on his behalf, in person, and directly to the providers. It was then, that Depretis seemed agitated and would not allow the company representative inside with him, stating this would be a violation of HIPAA.
The representative arrived on location prior to Depretis and attempted to pay the outstanding bills. It was then, that the business discovered Jason Depretis was not a patient of any of the respective medical providers of which they had received documents from. The business representative followed Jason Depretis to several other providers all with the same outcome. There is no record of Jason Drepetis and no outstanding medical bills.
Economic Crimes detectives were contacted and after a thorough investigation, a warrant was obtained for his arrest. Detectives discovered that all 229 documents were counterfeit and were created fraudulently by Depretis. Detectives confirmed that Jason F. Depretis received over $85,000 in donations through various means. Depretis was arrested by North Port Police August 11th and is currently being extradited to Charlotte County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
“This type of deceit is immoral, and deceives by pulling on the heartstrings. Unfortunately, that’s what scammers do best. It’s important to stay vigilant and trust your gut when the situation just doesn’t add up.”SHERIFF BILL PRUMMELL
If you have any information regarding fraudulent activity, please contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at 941-639-0013.