Enquirer Special Section
A. William "Bill" Erpenbeck
Current residence: Ft. Myers, Fla.
Covington Catholic High School, class of 1979
University of Michigan, 1979-80
Northern Kentucky University, 1981-84.
Anthony William Erpenbeck grew up in Edgewood. His father, Tony, was part of a family-owned Northern Kentucky construction business that dated to the 1920s.
Mr. Erpenbeck attended St. Pius X grade school on Dudley Road in Edgewood and went to Covington Catholic High School, where he was a standout baseball and football player. In 2001 he was elected to the school's athletic hall of fame.
Armed with a 90-mph fastball, Erpenbeck attended the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship, where he played a bit role on the 1980 Wolverines team that included former Reds star Chris Sabo.
Though he did earn a varsity letter, records at Michigan show Mr. Erpenbeck played in just four games during the 1980 season, pitching 11 innings and giving up a less-than-impressive 24 hits, 19 walks and 22 runs.
Slowed by arm problems, Erpenbeck transferred to Northern Kentucky University, where he fared better against lesser competition. Playing three seasons from 1981 to 1984, he still holds the school record for the lowest earned-run-average for one season at 1.77, according to NKU.
After leaving NKU, Mr. Erpenbeck went to work for the family's home building business and married Jennifer Krebs, his high school sweetheart.
The couple had three children. Mrs. Erpenbeck died of cancer in 1990. That same year Mr. Erpenbeck left the family business. In 1993, he formed his own upscale home building company.
Working with other family members, including his brother Jeff, the company began developing homes and condos throughout the region. One of the most exclusive developments is Summit Lakes, located between Thomas More College and St. Elizabeth Medical Center South and on the Summit Hills Golf Course.
Over the next seven years, the Erpenbeck Co. grew into the fourth largest homebuilder in the Tristate, with sales in 2000 of 436 units valued at $84 million. In 2001, Erpenbeck was appointed by Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton to the NKU Board of Regents, considered one of the most prestigious political appointments in the region.
He eventually remarried and moved his family into a $1.3 million home in Summit Lakes in 1997. By 2000, the Erpenbeck Co. was listed by Builder magazine as the fourth-largest developer in Greater Cincinnati with sales of $84 million.
In 1997, he was one of more than 300 people who invested in Ben Mar, an option fund which ran a Ponzi scheme-where funds from new investors are used to pay off artificially high returns to old investors-that ended up costing the group more than $12 million.
In early May, nearly three weeks after the FBI confirmed it was investigating his company for alleged bank fraud, Erpenbeck moved his family to a condominium in Ft. Myers, Fla., where he awaits his May 24 arraignment on a felony count of theft.