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Victims tell of losses to Ponzi scheme | News

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Victims tell of losses to Ponzi scheme

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM)- Two men accused of stealing millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme appeared in a Grand Haven court this morning.

Jeffrey Ripley, 59, of Kentwood and 60-year old Danny VanLiere of Sparta are accused of defrauding 140 victims out of approximately $9-million by selling fake securities. The men allegedly promised high returns on money invested but never delivered.

During a preliminary hearing, one alleged victim testified he handed over $600,000 to the men but never say any return on the investment. He also said after his savings account was drained Ripley and VanLiere stopped contacting him.

In 2005, Rockford resident Charles VanDyke had a $750,000 inheritance in his bank.  VanDyke says he slowly turned his inheritance over to Ripley, buying Ripley's story that his cash could gain him access to a biggler pile of cash, $470 million!  The $470 million was supposedly frozen in a British bank account.

Donna Koppenaal, 87, of Holland also trusted Ripley and VanLiere.  They told her they had a good investment and took all her accounts and put them in one liquid account, almost $545,000.  She hasn't seen anything in return.

The two men face up to 20-years in prison if convicted.