MIDDLEBURG -- The Snyder County District Attorney calls him a "classic conman", and on Wednesday, Kurt Keiper learned how long he will spend behind bars. Keiper admits stealing more than $300,000 from his customers.
A judge in Snyder County sentenced Kurt Keiper to at least 12 and a half years in state prison. The judge also ordered Keiper to pay back all of the money he owes to more than a dozen people.
Kurt Keiper arrived at the Snyder County Courthouse in Middleburg to find out how long he would spend behind bars. In January, the former businessman pleaded guilty to theft and fraud. He admits scamming several people out of almost $350,000.
One of those people is Dennis Monahan of New York. He's traveled to Snyder County for many of Keiper's court appearances. Monahan said that about three years ago, Keiper offered him a "good deal" on a vehicle.
"I wire transferred $31,500 to Mr. Keiper's account. I was expecting delivery of the vehicle in January of 2010. 2010 came and I never got the car," said Monahan.
Monahan said Keiper gave him excuse after excuse.
"I told him I had enough of your crap, give me my money back. He said he couldn't do that because it's already spent," said Monahan.
Some of Keiper's victims were in the courtroom for his sentencing, and read statements saying how much Keiper hurt them, and how they want him to go to prison for a long time.
"I'm just one of 12 victims who were coming out of the woodwork from all over the place, as far away as Canada," said Monahan.
The judge sentenced Keiper to 12 and a half to 78 years in state prison, saying, "As long as I'm on the bench, you will not be paroled until you make your victims whole and pay all this restitution."
Keiper apologized, saying, "These were not random people. They were customers and friends of mine. I broke their trust and I'm truly sorry."
Some of Keiper`s victims said they are happy with the sentence.
"I might get a little bit of satisfaction knowing he isn't going to be a free man for a long time and I will be," said Monahan.
Kurt Keiper was supposed to be sentenced in April, but instead fled to Colorado. He was brought back to Snyder County in October. The judge said he took Keiper's action into consideration when he handed down the sentence.