Fargo businessman sentenced for swindling retirement fundsFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Abuse of trust, swindling, and retirement dollars gone. In Cass County Court today, a Fargo businessman was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from three families.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Abuse of trust, swindling, and retirement dollars gone. In Cass County Court today, a Fargo businessman was sentenced to 3 years in state prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from three families.
Fifty-eight year-old Jeffrey Neppl was an insurance and financial adviser who was supposed to invest the retirement funds of senior citizens who trusted him.
The Radkes from rural Wimbeldon, North Dakota were your typical hard working farm family. Dairy cows, chores every day.
Keith Radke – Mother was Swindled: “My parents were very frugal, they were model citizens.”
And they were trusting. So when Louverne Radke wanted to invest the retirement they had worked so hard for, they believed Fargo financial adviser Jeffrey Neppl.
Keith Radke: “I don't think Jeffrey Neppl has the will or where with all to ever pay that back.”
But Neppl not only stole money from the Radkes, it disappeared into a separate business of his.
Monty Mertz – Attorney for Neppl: “Businessmen, by their very nature, hate to admit failure and he had some things happen to him that his business things beyond his control.”
Two other families lost entire nest eggs. In sentencing Neppl, Judge Wade Webb said the businessman must pay the price that he had harmed his victims financially emotionally and mentally.
Monty Mertz: “Been very shameful for him, very genuinely remorse and guilt and if he could have it to do over again he would have made another choice.”
Sobbing in court today with more than a dozen family members there, Neppl said he always planned to pay back the money he took to fund his business.
Prosecutors called it a Ponzi scheme. The elderly trusted him, he devastated them financially.
The son of one of the victims says he would like to see legislation in North Dakota that would require a third party to witness any kind of surrender of annuities involving seniors' financial investments.