Alum. indicted on charges of fraud
By James Peng, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Bruce McAllister ’54 Tu’58, who was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont for embezzlement, will be arraigned on Nov. 9 in a United States District Court in Burlington, Vt., before federal Magistrate Judge John Conroy.
McAllister was indicted on Oct. 19 for using wire transfers to embezzle over $360,000 from Alpha Theta House Corporation and Meccawe Club, a Vermont fishing group, while serving as treasurer of both organizations, according to a copy of the indictment obtained by The Dartmouth.
McAllister was indicted on Grand Jury charges of fraud by wire, radio or television, which is punishable by a fine and up to 20 years of imprisonment, according to the United States Code.
McAllister previously worked as an auditor for Dartmouth College but is not suspected of embezzling money from the College, according to Director of Media Relations for the College Justin Anderson.
“To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of any fraud at this point,” Anderson said.
The indictment indicates that between 1985 and 2010, MacAllister developed schemes to defraud a number of not-for-profit organizations in Vermont and New Hampshire. The indictment cites electronic transfers of funds of over $60,000 from Alpha Theta co-ed fraternity and Meccawe Club to bank accounts controlled by McAllister between Nov. 15, 2006, and March 22, 2010.
The indictment also accused McAllister of “having devised a scheme and artifice to defraud Alpha Theta House Corp. and The Meccawe Club” and plotting “to obtain money from those organizations by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice.”
During his arraignment on Wednesday, McAllister will be “informed of the charges against him and begin the process that will lead to resolution of the case by trial,” U.S. Attorney for the Distrit of Vermont Tristram Coffin said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Coffin declined to comment on specifics related to the case, citing the upcoming arraignment.
The Alpha Theta Corporation filed a civil lawsuit against McAllister and his wife Judith in February alleging that he pilfered approximately $230,000 from the organization’s funds during his three years serving as the organization’s treasurer.
McAllister wrote checks to himself, his wife and his business, the Sugartop Sawmill, out of Alpha Theta’s savings until he was dismissed from his position in February. Upon his dismissal, officials found only $98.92 in the organization’s bank account.
Alpha Theta’s attorney Nicholas Burke said the civil lawsuit seeks damages for McAllister’s misappropriation of money.
“The case is about recouping the money he allegedly took,” Burke said in an interview with The Dartmouth.
Court documents filed by McAllister’s lawyer indicate that he “denies that he has ever taken any money from Alpha Theta,” Burke said.
Alpha Theta house advisor Geoff Bronner ’91 said the loss of money from McAllister’s alleged misappropriation of the house’s funds has had little effect on house activities and events.
“Thanks to the continued support of our alumni, we are happy to say that thus far, daily life for the undergraduate members at Alpha Theta has not been affected by the alleged actions,” Bronner said.
The Meccawe Club filed a similar lawsuit in February in order to obtain adequate financial records and recover any funds from McAllister that were not used for club purposes. The lawsuit alleges that McAllister misappropriated approximately $130,000 of the Meccawe Club’s funds by writing checks to himself, his wife, his business and Alpha Theta during the three years he served as the Meccawe Club’s treasurer, according to the Valley News.
Little progress has been made in the two civil lawsuit cases, since “courts are moving slowly during these days of the budget crisis,” Burke said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples, who will prosecute the criminal case, said the criminal case began as a series of civil lawsuits which the two organizations filed against McAllister before a complaint was sent to the U.S. Secret Service in Vermont, The Burlington Free Press reported.
Representatives from Alpha Theta, Meccawe Club president Terry Boone and McAllister’s attorney George Ostler ’77 declined to comment. McAllister and Waples did not respond to requests for comment by press time.