Trial begins for former Maine lawmaker accused of stealing millions from elderly women

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) The trial of a former state lawmaker from Frankfort accused of stealing as much a $3 million from two elderly women began Tuesday.

53-year-old Robert Lindell, Junior is also charged with tax evasion.

The broker and financial adviser who moved to California in 2014 pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.

The Attorney General's office says while in Maine, Lindell handled the estate of a 92-year-old Belfast woman who died in 2012.

He also managed assets for a woman in her 80's, living in France.

He's accused of stealing money from the two women.

Tuesday prosecutors told jurors the jargon and documents make the case seem complicated but it's actually very simple.

Assistant District Attorney Gregg Berstein says, "The evidence will show that Phyllis Poor and Gianna Lewis trusted Mr. Lindell. He did this to finance, the state will prove, his lifestyle of travel of living in wine country, traveling around the world, having lots of cash and at the end of the case the state would respectfully request that you return verdicts of guilty on all counts."

Mr. Lindell's Defense Attorney, Zachary Brandmeir says, "The defense is going to be asking that you find and assumptions that may have been made by the state or a lack of information that you have are going to lead to reasonable doubt in the case as to all the charges and so obviously we'll be asking for a verdict of not guilty on all counts. We're hoping to show the jury that the state cannot account for every dollar and their only showing half the picture."

The woman from France that Lendell is accused of stealing from testified Tuesday.

She said she'd known Lindell and his family since before he was born and trusted him to handle her estate.

If convicted, Lindell could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

He might also have to pay more than $2 million in restitution.