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Geneseo kidnapper charged with theft

November 23, 2018

MORRISON – The day before a Geneseo man copped to kidnapping an Erie couple and strong-arming them into paying their own ransom, he was charged in Whiteside County court with stealing up to $500,000 from another Erie man.

Chad C. Schipper, 41, pleaded guilty Nov. 14 to aggravated kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping and concealing his identity, and home invasion with a dangerous weapon.

He faces 6 to 30 years on each count at his sentencing Feb. 5.

The latter charge was added to his original 16 felony charges – home invasion, eight counts of aggravated kidnapping, theft, two counts of armed violence, two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated unlawful restraint – the day before. The other 14 charges were dismissed per a plea agreement.

Schipper kidnapped Larry and Connie Van Oosten at gunpoint from their home on Feb. 7, 2017, and held them in a secret room in a vacant home he owned in Geneseo, using a stun gun to keep them subdued. He then forced them to get a $350,000 cashier’s check from their Albany bank to pay their ransom.

On Nov. 13, the former financial adviser and owner of Schipper Financial Services LLC was charged with theft in the new case, accused of obtaining “unauthorized control” over more than $100,000 but less than $500,000 in currency belonging to Barry C. Leeds, 62, a former product safety specialist at Nestle Purina PetCare Co. and a Navy veteran.

He pleaded not guilty to that charge on the 14th, and faces 4 to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is in Whiteside County Jail on the same bond set in the kidnapping case, $1 million.

He has a pretrial hearing Tuesday.

Court documents do not provide any details of the theft, or the exact amount Schipper is accused of taking, and State’s Attorney Terry Costello’s office was closed Friday for the holiday.

Schipper also being sued by his parents, Marlyn E. and Linda Schipper, who say he stole more than $444,000 from them over 4 years in his capacity as their financial investor.

Schipper, an Erie High School graduate and father of six, ran Schipper Financial Services LLC in his home. He opened the business on July 12, 2013, but had not been a registered investment adviser or broker since September 2013, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which regulates businesses and people selling securities in the U.S.

The Van Oostens and the elder Schippers were friends who attended the same church, and Connie Van Oosten is Facebook friends with Leeds and his wife, Ellen.

Also at his Nov. 14 plea hearing, four counts of harassing a witness were dismissed, also as part of the plea deal.

In that case, filed in June, Schipper was accused of writing two letters in April to the Van Oostens, pretending to be a home invasion victim named “Elouisa Mae” and encouraging them “to ask for a lenient sentence for Chad C. Schipper.”

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