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Fraud victim: ‘I literally cried so hard I collapsed because we had lost everything’ 

Posted at 6:34 PM, Sep 22, 2014

Steven and Kristine Beeler said they couldn`t believe they had doubled their money in a few months. Their dilemma should they invest again?

”I tried to convince my wife. She was very apprehensive about investing that much money, I thought maybe a little bit more for a little longer time,” says Steven Beeler.

The couple decided to borrow against their home and make another investment with Jim Pantazelos and his firm destiny`s partners.

Months passed and they received no check, so Steven called.

”Then he quit talking to me. He refused to take my phone calls. That`s when I really started getting worried. My wife invested her 20 years of her retirement in it. I invested 100-thousand plus what we had in our house,” says Steven Beeler.

The total: $411,000.

”I had such apprehension about borrowing the maximum that they would allow us to borrow on a house. You know when you need to listen to your gut? That was one time that I should have been more forceful,” says Kristine Beeler.

”I literally cried so hard I collapsed because we had lost everything that we had, and all of a sudden we find out there is an investigation going on and our hearts just sunk,” says Steven Beeler.

To make matters worse, Kristine lost her full-time job and her parents had also invested with destiny`s partner.

”My Mom is now 84 years old and she lives from hand to mouth compliments of Jim Pantazelos. So people get hurt in these things and it isn`t fair, it isn`t right, and even if they had given him life in prison, for the rest of our lives, we will always be his victims. I refuse to allow him that much control,” says Kristine Beeler.

Postal inspectors say this scheme cost thousands of victims more than $4 million dollars. Their advice: Do your research.

”If the investment is a sound investment, the opportunity will still be there for you to invest, after you`ve had the chance to do your research and do your due diligence to find out about the company,” says Frank Schissler, US Postal Inspector.

”If the returns are probably more than industry standards or more you could dream, it probably is a nightmare,” says Kristine Beeler. Pantazelos was sentenced to 9.5 years in federal prison for operating the ponzi scheme.