Man pleads to forging will, defrauding estate of $70K

Harrisburg
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A Virginia man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $70,000 from the estate of a Dauphin County man who died in 2013.

Jeffrey P. Riddel, 53, of Fairfax, pleaded guilty to felony charges of forgery and theft and was sentenced to seven years of intermediate punishment, with the first six months on house arrest and electronic monitoring, the district attorney’s office said.

He also was ordered to pay $76,858.74 to the estate of Thomas King.

Prosecutors said Riddel wrested control of King’s money from his mother, the administrator of his estate, by submitting a will purportedly signed by King that named Riddel as executor.

King’s mother challenged the will, and a civil court judge found the signatures of King and witnesses were fraudulent. Before charges were filed, however, Riddel withdrew more than $70,000 from the estate account.

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