By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — Several victims of conman Kurt J. Keiper are expected to attend his sentencing Wednesday morning in Snyder County Court on multiple felony theft charges.
The hearing was delayed more than seven months because Keiper, 41, of Middleburg, fled the state to avoid punishment.
On the eve of trial early this year, Keiper admitted his guilt in bilking 12 customers across the U.S. and in Canada of about $340,000 they paid him for vehicles that were never delivered.
Keiper was scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, but failed to show up. He remained on the lam until September, when he was caught living in Durango, Colo., under an assumed name.
He has been held in the Snyder County Jail in lieu of $4.5 million bail since being returned to the area to face judgment.
Days after Keiper was brought back, state police filed 11 more counts of theft and deceptive business practices against him for allegedly victimizing five more individuals and businesses across the country.
District Attorney Michael Piecuch said he’s been in contact with Keiper’s victims, several of whom have expressed an interest in attending Wednesday’s sentencing.
Regardless of whether they attend, the prosecutor said he’ll advocate on their behalf as he requests a long prison term for the prolific thief, who has a criminal history of bilking customers stretching back over a decade.
The people Keiper stole from don’t expect to get their money back, Piecuch said.
“Most are realistic because he’s been given so many chances to repay it. I’ve lost count to how many opportunities he’s had,” he said. “The only thing that will deter him is a very significant prison term.”