White-Collar Crime

Once a Top Prosecutor and Colo. Defense Attorney, Ex-Lawyer Awaits Arraignment in Federal Fraud Case

Once a highly regarded federal prosecutor and Colorado defense attorney, Robert McAllister is now charged in a 29-count fraud and money-laundering case.

He agreed to give up his law license last year, after he twice took client funds for his own personal use, reports the Denver Post.

News that McAllister, now 62, had allegedly resorted to criminal acts to try to keep afloat financially stunned those who knew him.

A former assistant U.S. Attorney in Denver, where he headed the office’s criminal division until the early 1980s, McAllister was respected for both his trial skills and his integrity, said former U.S. Attorney Bob Miller.

“I therefore am now absolutely puzzled and confounded by these recent charges,” Miller told the Post. “They are totally inconsistent with the character of the man I knew and worked with all of those years.”

McAllister himself says there is much he would like to discuss, if his lawyer hadn’t advised against commenting. But court records suggest his troubles began around 2006, exacerbated by the global financial downturn and bad real estate investments.

According to the November indictment, McAllister accepted secret payments of over $1 million from clients whose assets had been frozen by the Federal Trade Commission, then gave more than half of the money to a female business partner and “live-in friend.” She allegedly used the money to buy a house from McAllister.

Meanwhile, falsified bank statements purported to show the clients their money was safe in an account and earning interest. When the clients later sought their money back, McAllister obtained funds from other sources to repay them, according to the indictment.

He is scheduled for arraignment later this month. Because of McAllister’s previous employment with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Denver, his case is being handled by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas.

A Law Week Colorado article last month provides additional details and links to a copy of the indictment (PDF).

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