Business Owner's Death Determined; Controversy Continues

The investigation into a local business owner's death is nearing a close, but the controversy surrounding it is far from over.

Allegations of investment fraud by Steve Sterquell abound in court documents.

But let's start from the beginning:

You may remember a fiery crash on I-27 near Canyon back on April 1.  That is what killed Steve Sterquell.  But ever since his death, questions about the crash being accidental or deliberate have been asked.

That is because, according to court documents filed in Potter County, Sterquell owed a number of creditors upwards of $25 million.

Those creditors include Herring Bank and Heron Land Company.

Weeks before his death, the documents state Sterquell had help from his son, wife and daughter in transferring $24 million in life insurance to other trusts that benefit his family.

Those creditors fought to keep Sterquell's son from executing his father's will because they say he helped his father with those fraudulent transfers.  Creditors won that fight and a temporary administrator has been appointed.

He says he has found a number of instances of fraud Sterquell and his family committed right before his death.

Randall County Justice of the Peace Clay Houdashell says the manner of Sterquell's death has been determined but will not release it to us until Tuesday, at the request of Sterquell's family.