Sept. 27--More than 80 families were bilked out of $10 million in investments through a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Richard Freer, a former bank president, according to Northampton County authorities.
On Friday, District Attorney John Morganelli announced a grand jury had reccomended dozens of counts of theft, forgery, failure to make disposition of funds and deceptive business practices against Freer, 67, of Palmer Township.
Morganelli called Freer's conduct despicable, saying he conned investors out of their hard-earned funds with Freer's promises of doubling their funds. Freer is in county prison under $10 million bail in an investigation authorities said may uncover more victims.
"We moved now because I don't want to see him out even walking around again," Morganelli said. "I hope he has a long life because it's going to be spent in prison."
He said authorities are also looking at involvement of Freer's wife, Beverly.
Morganelli said the Freers did not live lavishly and authorities have worked to seize their bank accounts.
Those who invested with Freer were average people who earned their money through retirements and savings, the district attorney said.
Citing personal reasons, in 1991 Freer resigned as Lafayette Bank's president after 22 years with the financial institution, according to Morning Call files.
Freer also worked for Aviva Insurance in 2002, but was later fired from the company in 2009, authorities say.
Although he touted himself as an investment adviser, Morganelli said Freer is not registered in the state.
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