CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The owner of a dairy business that abruptly closed its doors last fall has admitted to bilking approximately $60 million from investors.
Philip Elvin Riehl, the majority owner of Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and fraud charges.
Federal prosecutors say Riehl, 68, orchestrated one of the largest Ponzi schemes in state history.
They say he solicited money from his accounting clients and others, mostly members of the Mennonite and Amish religious communities, for an investment program he operated and then diverted the funds to Trickling Springs.
Riehl, who was reportedly excommunicated from the Mennonite church, also solicited direct investments in Trickling Springs without disclosing the creamery’s financial condition.
Trickling Springs Creamery announced it was ceasing operations in September 2019 and filed a bankruptcy petition in December 2019.