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Nixon's deal with fugitives

by Craig Cheatham

KMOV.com

Posted on February 24, 2010 at 9:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:46 AM

In 2002, the Missouri Attorney General's office cut a deal with two men who were at-large and wanted for Missouri parole violations. They were on the run after then-Attorney General Jay Nixon sued them, and their partners, eventually getting an injunction barring them from conducting business as property managers. The group, known as Urban Realty, was accused of renting condemned apartments, among other things.

The two fugitives; David Steinmeyer, a double murderer, and Malcolm Aldrich, a longtime con man who was the mastermind of Urban Realty, signed the agreement at a secret location, allowed the fugitives to remain free if they helped pay a $13,000 fine. The ex-cons were part of a group of real estate investors and property managers who were ordered to no longer be involved in residential real estate in Missouri.

It was a stunning deal.

At the time they signed it, Aldrich and Steinmeyer were in Memphis, already ripping off investors, property managers and tenants in an even more ambitious alleged fraud, according to victims I interviewed seven years ago. Ten months after they signed the agreement with Nixon's office, Steinmeyer and Aldrich were arrested and returned to a Missouri prison.

When he was released from prison, Aldrich got into more trouble, and again it involved real estate. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office recently charged him with two dozen counts related to another real estate scam. If convicted, he faces years in prison. He's in jail tonight, being held without bond.

I did a story about Aldrich two years ago. It was the same time he's accused of committing his latest scam. We reported that he was back in business, even though he was banned from doing it by the agreement he signed with the Attorney General. Aldrich responded by leaving a nasty message on my voice mail, and wrote a long letter to the top executives of KMOV, and our parent corporation Belo. He claimed to be a victim, which was a joke, considering he had victimized an unknown number of people during his lengthy criminal career. I responded to his bogus letter point by point, and eventually he went away, only to resurface late last year when he was arrested in Kansas City.

Tonight, Malcolm Aldrich, a man who has used more than 20 identities, and spent many years in prison for committing many crimes, sits in the St. Louis city jail, held without bond. He is often described as a non-violent offender, but the judge in this case recognizes the crook for what he is: a menace to society, a man who hurts people and the community as a whole.  

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To see court documents, click here

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