News 4 Investigates: Known St. Louis-area con man back in business

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by Craig Cheatham / News 4 Investigates

KMOV.com

Posted on July 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:52 AM

(KMOV) -- News 4 Investigator Craig Cheatham has been chasing Malcolm Aldrich and his long trail of victims for more than a decade. He's a convicted felon who served prison time, violated his parole and has been charged with theft repeatedly.

He's also been a defendant in 50 lawsuits in St. Louis City and County.

Aldrich, AKA Malcolm Couch, is back in business. Even though some residents say he's ripped them off, Aldrich insists he's innocent, and finally agreed to sit down and talk with News 4. 

Aldrich claims to be a real estate expert. He's also been accused of using that knowledge to repeatedly steal from people in real estate deals.

He denies that, even though News 4 has talked to dozens of alleged victims in several states. Law enforcement officials have publicly identified him as a "con man."

But now he insists he's trying to do the right thing and help folks find housing in the small St. Louis County community of Flordell Hills.

Aldrich says he can leave a great legacy of goodwill if people will let him. The people he claims he tried to help are now accusing him of theft and fraud. In fact, some of them didn't know his real name until they saw our stories that exposed his criminal record. 

But Aldrich's problems don't end there.

In 2002, after a barrage of complaints about him and his partners, Aldrich signed an agreement with the Missouri Attorney General's office. That agreement bans him and his partners from renting or advertising properties for rent in the state of Missouri.

He signed the agreement, but now is daring the AG's office to make him stop.

It may seem unbelievable, but for Aldrich, it's just business as usual.

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