Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Erpenbeck to plead not guilty


Home builder accused of writing $258,399 bad check

By Patrick Crowley pcrowley@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Home builder William A. “Bill” Erpenbeck will plead not guilty Friday to charges he wrote a $258,399 bad check to a contractor, his lawyer said Monday night.

        Florence lawyer Burr Travis also said he will ask a Boone District Court judge to set a preliminary hearing date so he can present Mr. Erpenbeck's defense.

STORY ARCHIVE
Click here for all Enquirer reports on Erpenbeck Co.
INVESTIGATION
If you have any additional information on the business dealings of the Erpenbeck Co. or Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky - or on the involvement of any parties not yet identified in our coverage - please email Enquirer business reporter James McNair at jmcnair@enquirer.com or Kentucky Enquirer reporter Patrick Crowley at pcrowley@enquirer.com.
        “We anticipate entering a not guilty plea, and my intent is to ask for the appropriate time to review records and documents from the bank and from The Erpenbeck Co. to prepare for a preliminary hearing,” Mr. Travis said.

        v Mr. Travis would offer no other details of Mr. Erpenbeck's defense.

        He did say he met for about two hours Monday with Mr. Erpenbeck, who intends to attend Friday's arraignment. Mr. Erpenbeck has a home in Crestview Hills but has been staying with his family at their Fort Myers, Fla., condominium.

        Mr. Erpenbeck, 41, turned himself in to Boone County Sheriff's deputies May 10 after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was charged with one count of theft by deception over $300 for writing a $258,399 check in February to Morris Heating and Cooling of Burlington that The Erpenbeck Co. could not cover with available funds. If convicted, Mr. Erpenbeck could face one to five years in prison.

        His family posted a bond later that day and Mr. Erpenbeck was released after about 90 minutes in custody.

        The Erpenbeck Co., which Mr. Erpenbeck founded in 1993, is under investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office in Cincinnati for allegations of bank fraud.

        An estimated $15 million in checks made out to mortgage lenders were diverted into Erpenbeck business accounts at Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky, according to bank officials and lawsuits filed against Mr. Erpenbeck, The Erpenbeck Co. and the bank.

        The Boone County Sheriff's Department is also investigating a criminal complaint filed by a Richwood woman who claims she paid the Erpenbeck Co. $160,000 for a condominium only to discover her money was not used to pay for the home.

        Also on Monday Mr. Erpenbeck, who already faces dozens of lawsuits from contractors seeking payment for work done on Erpenbeck-built homes, was served with notice of nine more lawsuits filed against him and the company in Kenton Circuit Court.

        Mr. Travis said Mr. Erpenbeck received the papers at his Florence law office. Mr. Travis, however, is not representing Mr. Erpenbeck in civil matters.

        Glenn Whitaker, a Cincinnati lawyer, is handling the lawsuits and any possible federal charges against Mr. Erpenbeck.

       



Hamilton County braces for terrorism
County offers break on home fix-up loans
Erpenbeck strands condo associations
Legislator seeks title reform
- Erpenbeck to plead not guilty
City schools set to start building
Officer loses police powers
Police review panel has openings
Report backs police search
Teen drug use declining, survey says
Young crowd dance night away
Spanish emerges in hospitals
Insurers deny doctor drain
Killer caught in Columbus 31 years after her escape
Ohio lawmakers close to budget deal
Local Digest
Planners seeking public feedback
Search continues for two men in Ohio River
Silverton tax hike 1 vote short
Trial starts for cemetery operator
UC professor claims gender discrimination
Volunteer charged with molestation
Boehner covers bases in re-election bid
Butler County Digest
Choir sets poems to music
Family accuses officer of brutality
Lebanon mulls raising utilities
Life Success Seminars moves
Petitions address airport name
Schools focus budget cuts
Homeless sue over camp razing
Displaced miss their possessions, 'family'
School chief will hear Fort Thomas fear
Airport security case goes to federal court
Congrats
Cop outlines case against Huiett
GOP primary pits two ex-Democrats
Kentucky Digest
Louisville archdiocese faces 75 lawsuits
Teaching programs subjected to review