Former customers had concerns about Northwest Capital before investment fraud charges

Former customers had concerns about Northwest Capital before investment fraud charges
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 9:19 PM EDT
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SYLVANIA TWP., Ohio (WTVG) - Eight managers of Lucas County’s Northwest Capital Management are facing dozens of felony charges in a $72 million fraud scheme.

Now we’re hearing the problems one local business saw well before state investigators came knocking.

13abc spoke with one of the actual fraud victims. His family is out roughly $200,000 plus interest. He told us he considered those investors friends. Yet, things have changed. If there’s any good news, not everyone dealing with Northwest Capital lost such huge amounts.

To keep TIG Fleet Services growing in the last few years, the company sought invoice financing and found Northwest Capital in Sylvania Township.

“I wanted to sit across the desk from somebody,” said Thomas Kepler of TIG Fleet Services.

Things started off great. They’d sell the invoices to Northwest, get cash upfront, and then when the invoice was paid by the vendor, TIG got their money back minus some fees. But after a few months, the payments didn’t come as quickly.

“It got to the point where they were not able to fund new invoices we were sending them, and they were also receiving payments from our customers,” said Kepler.

Kepler said his company could not terminate its contract with Northwest Capital. Although the situation began to lighten, in 2021, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation raided Northwest Capital. For TIG, this was the first sign of the end.

TIG did have to write off some invoices, meaning money lost, and eventually moved to a new company.

Kepler said he is happy he parted ways with Northwest when he did.

This week, we learned that eight former managers have been indicted for investment fraud, accused of taking $72 million from customers.

“I’m glad I got out when I did because it sounds like a lot of other people did not get out as well as I did,” said Kepler.

The Better Business Bureau always encourages customers of financial brokers or any product to really vet who they’re working with. Don’t let them ask all the questions.

“Turning the tables on a scammer will make them very nervous. If you turn the tables by asking questions they will start to get nervous and they’ll have to back pedal. Where a legitimate marketer, a legitimate broker will have answers readily available,” said Lane Montz of the Better Business Bureau.

All 8 of those suspects will be court next Wednesday.

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