Victims Of Ponzi Scheme Hope Others Come Forward 1-21-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Victims Of Ponzi Scheme Hope Others Come Forward 1-21-2011

One local family says their uncle was fleeced out of more than $120,000 and now they're worried there could be more Mid-Michigan victims.
And while the man found guilty of taking the funds is behind bars, WNEM TV5’s Aisha Howard reports on why the fraud fears haven't stopped.
Chuck and Dick Salgat travelled from metro Detroit with a stern message to the elderly about a Ponzi scheme. Their late uncle, a Saginaw resident, was a target of one man’s scheming ambitions.
"Where did it go?” said Chuck Salgat. “We kept adding numbers up and about $120,000 to $130,000 dollars [was missing].This just wasn’t balancing out."
After their Uncle Tony died three years ago, they noticed something wasn’t right with his financial records. They traced it back to Keith Epstein, of Epstein and Rich Investment Firm, out of Farmington Hills.
Investigators said Epstein had his clients write him personal checks for investments, but instead, he put the money in his personal account.
They confronted Epstein about their uncle’s finances. After reporting him to police, they found out he was accused of stealing millions of dollars from other elderly people and their families around the country.
The nephews believe that the way Epstein operated could mean there are more victims of his schemes in Saginaw. They want those people to come forward.
"When it comes to the elderly, they may be embarrassed or afraid to come forward,” said Saginaw Police detective Rubin Vazquez. “We’re going to encourage them not to be, to let us know if they're a victim of this man."
"If a loved one knows, they need to come forward to get justice, because the elderly are victimized and this can't go on," said Dick Salgat.
And with plenty of victims who have already stepped up, if there are more in our area police want you to know you can get justice too.
"Some folks may have been scared of him,” said Dick Salgat. “[We] just assure people he's behind bars, in handcuffs, wearing the ugly gray prison suit. So don't be afraid. Come on out."
Epstein is currently serving a one year sentence in Macomb County for borrowing from customers and writing bad checks. He's also facing federal charges.
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