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Man convicted in Super Bowl scam

A pledge of tickets reaped $230,000

WORCESTER -- A 21-year-old Hudson man was found guilty in federal court yesterday of defrauding 41 customers of about $230,000 in an Internet scam to sell them tickets to the 2005 Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Michael Deppe, who has already pleaded guilty in a similar Internet scheme, used the online auction site eBay to find customers and lure them into deals. He took their money but did not deliver the tickets, according to victims' testimony during the seven-day trial.

''I'm ecstatic," said Jennifer Serpico, one of Deppe's customers for tickets to the game in Jacksonville, Fla.

Serpico, of Cinnaminson, N.J., testified that she paid $8,950 for four Super Bowl tickets that she never received. She never got her money back, either, she said.

Also testifying in the trial in US District Court in Worcester was Sheldon Cohen, president of Out of Town Ticket Agency in Cambridge.

Deppe said he had paid $183,000 for some of the Super Bowl tickets to ''Jonathon Cohen," whom he described as Sheldon Cohen's son.

''There's no such person," testified Sheldon Cohen, who said he has no sons.

Cohen also said it would have been impossible for his agency to provide Deppe with such a quantity of tickets.

''It was a very hard ticket to get," Cohen said.

Deppe has had an Internet business since he was 13, starting with Beanie Babies.

He pleaded guilty in March to 10 counts of mail and wire fraud in a scheme involving 27 victims who tried to buy merchandise worth $115,000.

Deppe's attorney, Steven Rappaport, said he would appeal.

CONNIE PAIGE

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