An Arapahoe County jury convicted a 60-year-old man of defrauding a business owner and building contractors of more than $500,000.
But Larry McGee was not in the courtroom to hear the jury’s verdict: He was on supervised pretrial release as a condition of bond and cut off his GPS ankle monitor and absconded in the middle of the trial.
The trial court found that McGee’s failure to appear was willful and conducted the remainder of the trial in absentia. Arapahoe District Court Judge Patricia Herron issued a no-bond arrest warrant.
“It appears that cowardly McGee agreed with the jury about the strength of the case against him. There is no better way to signal to the court, the jury, the community, and the victims your complete disrespect for them and our laws than to run away before the jury renders its verdict,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “I am disappointed that the victims cannot be made whole after McGee’s self-absorbed felonious conduct.”
In January 2014 an Arapahoe County property owner contacted the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office about a tenant, Larry McGee, who had not paid rent for two years and had not paid any of the contractors who had performed upgrades and enhancements to the property at McGee’s request.
McGee, who had a previous felony theft conviction, had signed contracts with the landlord and service providers, but his checks bounced, he made excuses and payments were never made. The jury found that he impersonated a local attorney, drafted forged letters to the victim under the attorney’s letterhead, and gave the victim the forged deposit slips and wire transfer records in order to remain a tenant and keep the scheme going.
Ultimately, on Oct. 20, 2014, McGee was charged with 15 felony counts and 6 misdemeanor counts – including two counts of felony theft, four counts of identity theft and numerous additional counts of forgery and fraud by check. McGee delayed the trail for almost four years.
The jury found him guilty on all counts on Sept. 14, 2018. The presumptive sentencing range is four to more than 48 years in prison.
“McGee did not perpetrate this scheme to get money — McGee financially ruined a 65-year-old man and tricked numerous people into providing services and supplies for the sole purpose of making people think he was a wealthy businessman so they would treat him as someone special,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Steve Fauver, who prosecuted the case. “None of the victims is likely to make a deal with only a handshake ever again, and that is truly a shame.”