Party planner, florist sentenced for fraud scheme

Losses figured at more than $323K
Party planner, florist sentenced for fraud scheme

Two Fitchburg men were sentenced Friday in a fraud and money laundering scheme that totaled losses over $320,000, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Steve Schmidt, 56, was sentenced to 42 months in prison. Darren Ulatowski, 47, was sentenced to 15 months.

Schmidt pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering in February. Ulatowski pleaded guilty to mail fraud in February. The two were charged with participating in a scheme to defraud “It’s Your Party,” a Madison party event company where Schmidt worked, a release said.

The defendants misused property and personnel from “It’s Your Party” for their own personal purposes, which included the funding of a floral shop in Verona owned by Ulatowski called “House of Flowers” in order to keep the business solvent and operational. In his plea agreement, Schmidt agreed that the fraud loss totaled $323,948.

The charges against Schmidt and Ulatowski were the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.