May 23, 2018
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Ex-Maine lawmaker accused of fraud back in jail facing tax charges

Courtesy Penobscot County Sheriff's Department | BDN
Courtesy Penobscot County Sheriff's Department | BDN
Robert Kenneth Lindell
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Updated:

A former Maine legislator accused of bilking an elderly Belfast woman out of more than $2 million is back in jail facing new charges over failure to pay income taxes and for allegedly violating his bail conditions.

Robert Kenneth Lindell Jr., 53, of Cloverdale, California, in March 2017 pleaded not guilty to theft by unauthorized taking and to a securities violation in connection with the alleged fraud against the Belfast widow. He was released after posting an $85,000 property bond secured with real estate in Frankfort. Bail conditions prohibited him from acting in any fiduciary, trustee or representative capacity in any matter for any clients.

In early April, the Maine attorney general’s office, which is prosecuting the case, filed a motion to revoke Lindell’s bail alleging he had violated those conditions.

Lindell surrendered at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor on April 9 after he learned a warrant had been issued for his arrest, according to Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein. Lindell has denied violating bail.

On April 25, the Penobscot County grand jury indicted Lindell on five counts of intentional evasion of income tax and five counts of failure to pay Maine income tax. He pleaded not guilty to those charges on Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center before Superior Court Justice William Anderson. They appear unrelated to the prior fraud charges.

Anderson ordered that Lindell continue to be held without bail. A hearing on the motion to revoke bail is set for July 10, Bernstein said Tuesday.

Bangor attorney Zachary Brandmeir, who represents Lindell, said his client did not commit the crimes of which he’s accused.

“This matter involves thousands of pages of documents and complicated financial transactions,” Brandmeir said Tuesday. “We are confident that over time that we will be able to prove Mr. Lindell’s innocence and secure his release.”

Lindell served in the Maine House of Representatives as a Republican from 2004 to 2008, when he was defeated in his re-election bid, according to BDN archives. At the time he served in the Legislature, Lindell lived on the Frankfort property he posted as bail.

A securities broker licensed in Maine and California, Lindell is accused of stealing money from the victim, who died in June 2012 at the age of 92, and from her estate and life insurance payout. He had co-power of attorney for the woman and was co-personal representative for her estate, according to court documents.

The victim’s estate was valued at approximately $4.4 million after taxes, fees and administration costs, according to court documents. Insurance payments added about $1.1 million to the value of the estate.

Lindell’s Maine securities disciplinary record included sanctions in 2002 and 2013. Both actions ended in consent orders, court documents said.

If convicted, Lindell faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 on the most serious charge of Class B theft. He also could be ordered to pay restitution of more than $2 million.

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