Thursday, June 13, 2002

$24.7M diverted to Erpenbeck

2 properties added to forfeiture claims

By James McNair,
and Patrick Crowley,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Boone County court filing unsealed Wednesday shows that $24.7 million in home sale proceeds were diverted into Erpenbeck Co. accounts at Peoples Bank of Northern Kentucky.

        The checks were earmarked for the payoff of Erpenbeck's construction lenders, including Firstar Bank, Bank One, Provident Bank and, among others, Peoples Bank itself. They date to January 2000.

Click here for all Enquirer reports on Erpenbeck Co.
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 or Kentucky Enquirer reporter Patrick Crowley at
        Until Wednesday, parties affected by the Erpenbeck collapse — home buyers, banks, title insurance companies and subcontractors — had rough estimates of the money diverted.

        It remains possible that the amount will grow. Peoples said it was unable to access some microfilmed Erpenbeck records before January 2001.

        The list includes dates, dollar amounts, names of home buyers, their lenders and the banks that weren't paid after closing.

        Although it accounted for $24.7 million in check diversions, Peoples Bank said construction mortgages worth $7.9 million have been released, lowering the amount missing to $16.8 million.

        Separately, the U.S. Attorney's Office added two more properties to the 24 civil forfeiture claims filed against homes owned by Bill Erpenbeck and former Peoples Bank executives John Finnan and Marc Menne.

        The latest lawsuit, filed Wednesday, contends that two condos in Myrtle Beach, S.C., belonging to Richard Erpenbeck, Bill's brother who practices law in Covington, might have been bought with proceeds of bank fraud. An FBI investigation is continuing; no federal charges have been filed.


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