(KMOV) - One of the biggest con men in St. Louis is back in jail, but could be a free man in only two days.
For decades, Malcolm Aldrich has claimed to be someone else, using phony names and social security numbers as he ripped off unsuspecting St. Louisans.
Property owners Bob Wibbenmeyer and Patrick Driscoll say Aldrich and his alleged front man Brian Stoker agreed to manage their apartment buildings two years ago. Stoker and Aldrich were supposed to collect rents and pay bills, but Wibbenmeyer and Driscoll say the agreement ended a few months later after Aldrich and Stoker put tenants in apartments without proper permits, pocketed deposits and rent, and didn't pay the bills.
Wibbenmeyer and Driscoll say they never saw Aldrich in person.
The St. Louis circuit attorney recently charged Aldrich and Stoker with over two dozen counts of stealing, forgery ,and deceptive business practices for running a fraud business that involved 20 buildings worth $5 million. These charges aren't Aldrich's first run-in with the law. He has been behind bars repeatedly during the last three decades for masterminding similar scams.
News 4's investigation of Aldrich started nearly ten years ago. We followed his trail of victims to five states, including Tennessee, where he took cruises while wanted for violating his parole. He returned to St. Louis a few years ago, still wanted by the law, and a criminal complaint claims that is around the time he launched his latest scam.
Aldrich lived a life of luxury all the while. Dee Canady of Coldwell Banker rented a $600,000 home to Aldrich and Stoker. She says the walls were covered with expensive art and the halls contained bronze sculptures.
According to Canady, Stoker and Aldrich didn't pay all of their bills, still owing the owners $10,000 in rent.
Aldrich has a bond hearing scheduled for Thursday.
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