McAllister pleads guilty to two counts of fraud
By Sharla Grass, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Bruce McAllister ’54 Tu ’58 pleaded guilty on April 25 to a charge of fraud by wire, radio or television at the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vt., according to the Chittenden County Clerk’s office. McAllister was charged with transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars from the bank accounts of several non-profit organizations to his own bank accounts while he was employed as the treasurer of these organizations for a period of over 20 years beginning in the 1980s.
Two organizations — Dartmouth’s Alpha Theta coeducational fraternity and The Meccawe Club, a fishing club in Bridgewater, Vt. — filed private lawsuits in 2011 alleging that McAllister and his wife Judith McAllister embezzled approximately $230,000 from Alpha Theta and $130,000 from Meccawe while acting as treasurer of the two organizations. McAllister was dismissed as treasurer of Alpha Theta House Corporation last February. At this time, officials discovered that Alpha Theta had $98.92 in its bank account.
“The fraternity is following the case and will participate in the sentencing process,” house advisor Geoff Bronner ’91 wrote in an email to The Dartmouth, declining to comment on the specifics of the case.
The defense claims that the amount of money transferred has been overestimated by the prosecution, The Burlington Free Press reported.
McAllister was indicted in November 2011. The indictment 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.”
McAllister will appear at a sentencing hearing before a judge on Sept. 24. He could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, The Burlington Free Press reported. As part of the plea deal, McAllister will “receive credit for accepting responsibility and will be sentenced at the low end of the federal sentencing guidelines,” The Burlington Free Press reported.
The indictment occurred as a result of the private lawsuits, which “drew the attention” of the U.S. Secret Service in Vermont, The Burlington Free Press reported. The lawsuits — which accuse McAllister of transferring funds from the two organizations to himself, his wife and “Sugartop Sawmill,” a lumber company that he ran in his backyard — are still pending.
McAllister previously worked as an auditor for the College but is not suspected of embezzling money from the College.
“To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence of any fraud at this point,” Director of Media Relations for the College Justin Anderson said in an interview with The Dartmouth in November.
The lost money has not affected events or activities for current members of Alpha Theta, Bronner said. This is due in large part to financial support from alumni, he said.
President of The Meccawe Club Terry Boone could not be reached for comment. George Ostler ’77, McAllister’s lawyer, and members of Alpha Theta contacted by The Dartmouth declined to comment.
Anderson declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.