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Two Plead No Contest In Ottawa County Ponzi Scheme


GRAND HAVEN (WHTC) - Two men have pleaded no contest in an Ottawa County courtroom for their role in a 9-million dollar Ponzi scheme. 60-year-old Jeffrey Ripley of Sparta and 61-year-old Danny VanLiere of Grand Rapids pleaded no contest Friday to one count of racketeering and two counts of selling unregistered securities before Circuit Judge Ed Post. Attorney General Bill Schuette, who prosecuted the case, says the two men bilked 150 victims by selling fake securities, primarily to the elderly. Some lost up to $600,000 in savings. The two men operated a business known as API Worldwide Holdings from July 2006 to August 2012. Ripley and VanLiere are being held without bond in the Ottawa County jail. They’ll be sentenced June 21.