Thursday, January 19, 2017

Victims of love: An elderly Minnesota couple lost everything to a man they viewed as the son they never had

– Ray Turcotte once owned a gas station in this scenic town of 3,700 on Lake Superior’s North Shore. His wife, Judy, ran a hair salon. After amassing a net worth approaching $1 million, they retired to the lakeside home Ray Turcotte built with his own hands.

But after placing their financial future in the hands of David Ripley, the Turcottes are broke. Their home, which they owned free and clear, now carries a mortgage they can’t afford, and they could be evicted during the depths of winter.

Ray Turcotte, 86, has been hospitalized since late November after suffering a stroke, which his wife blames on the stress of their financial loss.

“We have nothing, and I mean nothing,” said Judy Turcotte, who, at 74, brings in a few dollars by doing laundry at a bed-and-breakfast. “Ray and I are just two old people who worked our tails off. We had our house paid for. We had stocks. We had investments. And it’s all gone.”

According to court documents and interviews, Ripley ingratiated himself with the elderly and childless couple, persuading them to let him manage their finances. He promised to take care of them, they said. They put so much trust in him, in fact, that they even helped him buy a house next door to their own. He still lives there, despite taking control of their money and cleaning them out, the Turcottes said.

“He said, ‘You’re older, vulnerable adults. You don’t have anybody to help you,’ ” Judy Turcotte said.

“He told us he loved us,” she said, sobbing. “He said, ‘You’re more of a mother to me than my own mother was.’ ”

The Turcottes aren’t the only ones who have claimed to be victimized by Ripley, 56, who arrived here from North Dakota about 15 years ago. Since then, Ripley has been involved in a dizzying array of investment deals and property transactions that have left a trail of angry investors across three states, according to court records and interviews.

Many of the deals wound up in litigation, and several lawsuits ended with substantial penalties against Ripley, who owes more than $2 million in court judgments and unpaid loans, public records show. Included are two convictions for civil fraud.

In a recent interview at his home, Ripley denied all the Turcottes’ allegations.

“From my perspective, it’s sour grapes,” he said.

Bonnie Piehl, Ripley’s longtime partner in life and in business, also denied that she and Ripley did anything wrong.

“They can’t say we scammed them out of one dime,” Piehl said.

In an interview from his hospital bed, Ray Turcotte still couldn’t quite believe how events unfolded.
“You’re going to wonder how the hell this can happen,” he said.

Court and land records, and interviews with Ripley’s investors, tell a complicated story.  (Click to Continue)

Full Article & Source:
Victims of love: An elderly Minnesota couple lost everything to a man they viewed as the son they never had


Craig said...

It's happening more and more often to people who are alone or feel they're alone. They may even have children of their own but are out of touch with them.

Maureen Revene said...

In my mother's (Anne "Peggy" Revene) it was some of her children that stole everything, doctor shopped, abuse & neglected her then put her in the worst nursing home around (Westborough healthcare- kindred). They were able to do this with the help of Westborough police chief alan gordon and other members of the wpd. Good to have friends in the police department, especially when you're a snitch for the ma state police and wpd. Once they got my mother into the nursing home (against her will and illegally) they tried to have the quack dr David duhme put her on antipsychotic medication. I spent years unsuccessfully trying to get her out of the nursing home. I was able to stop them from turning my mother into a zombie with antipsychotic medication. My mother suffered through abuse, neglect and dehumanizing treatment for nine years before they were able to kill her off. It wouldn't have been possible without the help of attorney laurie raphaelson who was very upset that my mother continued living after raphaelson had gone through all her money. Raphaelson complained that she was working for nothing (she fought long and hard to be appointed guardian) and then dr david duhme started giving my mother
Vicodin. My mother was almost comatose from the drugs.
My complaints, as usual, were met by raphaelson and the nursing home with, "it's just a natural progression of the disease."
My mother died a week later.

Anonymous said...

Sounds somewhat familiar. The couple who financially exploited my mother, let me know over and over, how much they loved her. Me not living in the U.S., it was easy for them to take over.