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November 13, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Judith M. Shaw, Securities Administrator

 

Maine Securities Administrator Announces Conviction in Elder Financial Exploitation Case

 

GARDINER - Maine Securities Administrator Judith Shaw announced that Robert Kenneth Lindell was convicted by a jury on November 7, 2018 in Penobscot County Superior Court of fifteen criminal counts involving Theft, Securities Fraud, Intentional Evasion of Maine Income Tax and Failure to Pay Maine Income Tax. The state alleged Mr. Lindell had defrauded two elderly widows out of more than $3 million and failed to pay taxes on the income he earned as a result of the fraud, instead receiving tax refunds he was not entitled to.

Mr. Lindell began acting as a securities agent for a widow from Belfast in the early 2000s. The two met weekly at her home to discuss her finances. He was later named as the widow's power of attorney, co-personal representative of her estate upon her death, and trustee of trusts created for the benefit of her disabled veteran son. Lindell stole money from the widow, from her estate and from the trusts by writing checks to himself and his company, paying personal expenses with trust and estate money, and buying, renovating, and ultimately residing in a home in California wine country after purchasing the home with trust money.

The second widow, a resident of France, has known Mr. Lindell since he was born. Mr. Lindell was the trustee of a trust set up for the widow's benefit by her late husband. As with the first widow, Lindell wrote checks to himself from her trust account and paid personal expenses using her funds.

"This is one of the most significant and troubling cases my Office has investigated in over a decade", Administrator Shaw said. "Mr. Lindell was a trusted financial professional in Maine. But more than that, he was like family to these women. He groomed them for years in order to perpetrate these crimes preying on their trusting nature and vulnerabilities. This type of activity will not be tolerated especially from someone licensed to act as a securities professional in Maine".

The case was investigated by Senior Investigator Cathy Williams of the Maine Office of Securities and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein.

Administrator Shaw urges everyone to check on the background of any investment professional before agreeing to work with them. Anyone who has questions about investment opportunities or the investment professionals they are working with should contact the Office of Securities. Information about advisers, agents and investing is available at www.investors.maine.gov, by calling 1-877-624-8551 or writing to the Maine Office of Securities, 121 SHS, Augusta, Maine 04333-0121.

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The Office of Securities is an agency within Maine's Department of Professional and Financial Regulation ( www.maine.gov/pfr )

Last Updated: April 24, 2019 9:34 AM