PEORIA, Ill. (AP) _ It'll be the big house instead of the penthouse for a college dropout who lived the good life on bad checks and unpaid credit cards.

Anthony DeFelippis, 21, was ordered to spend 37 months in federal prison as punishment for a cross-country spending spree of more than $100,000. He was convicted on felonies for bank larceny and making false statements to a bank.

''I think the only explanation would be the statement 'out of control,''' DeFelippis said during his sentencing hearing.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm cited DeFelippis' unrepentant attitude in levying the lengthy sentence. DeFelippis blamed his problems on his failure to attain a college degree and didn't express remorse for his crimes during his hearing Thursday.

The convictions resulted from a series of bad checks, overdrawn credit cards and misrepresentations made to bankers in the two years since DeFilippis, a New Jersey native, quit Bradley University in 1988.

After dropping out of school, his only employment then was a part-time job in New Jersey that paid him $4,000 over four months.

But records show he fancied silk suits, traveled in limousines, took a joy ride in a helicopter and charged the rental fee to the Chicago brokerage company where he hoped to work.

He succeeded in running up a $100,000 tab on his American Express credit card and accruing large debts on other credit cards, according to court testimony. Authorities said he left a string of creditors in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Florida.

DeFelippis was arrested in Chicago in March 1989 on a federal warrant resulting from his application for a $250,000 loan at a Peoria bank. On his application, he fraudulently claimed to have a $2 million annual income, prosecutors said.

FBI agents began tracking him when he returned to the bank to check on his loan application's status. He caught a plane to Chicago and was picked up by Chicago Police while trying to make a large credit purchase at Neiman Marcus, records indicate.

He has been held without bond since July 1989. He pleaded guilty to the charges in April.