WOODBURY, Minn. - A convicted swindler who preys on women he meets online is facing new charges in the wake of a KARE 11 investigation.
Derek Alldred is accused of impersonating a military officer in an attempt “to mislead” a Woodbury woman named Linda.
She is one of at least eight women from the Twin Cities to California who told KARE 11 last November that Alldred lied to them about his identity, his job and his background to try to gain access to their finances.
“When I met him he was Richard Derek Peterson,” she told KARE 11 last year. “He was finishing his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Minnesota and he was a reservist in the U.S. Navy.”
Alldred has posed at various times as a businessman, a university professor and a doctor. But it’s the identity he assumed when he met Linda last February – as a decorated Navy Seal captain – that has prompted the new criminal charges.
Linda showed KARE 11 the phony uniforms, awards and medals he left at her home. They included a Purple Heart and a Silver Star.
Linda says she dated Alldred for several months before she discovered his real identity and learned he had used the same identity to prey on other local women.
One of them, Missi, showed KARE the phony military “dog tags” Alldred left at her home.
Linda says Alldred cleaned out her savings and made several purchases using her accounts. She called police in August and had him arrested on suspicion of Theft by Swindle.
So far, the Washington County Attorney has not charged Alldred with theft in that case.
However, the Woodbury City Attorney recently filed charges against Alldred for “impersonating an officer” with intent to mislead another. In Minnesota, posing as a military officer is only a misdemeanor, with a penalty that includes a potential fine and up to 90 days in jail.
Linda is frustrated the charges aren’t under the more serious federal Stolen Valor Act.
“It still makes me sick to my stomach that someone would pretend, that someone would take someone else’s uniform and put it on as if it was his own,” she told KARE 11.
If Alldred is to be held accountable, authorities will have to find him first.
He has been on the run since December, when he failed to show up for his sentencing hearing in an Arizona theft case.
Alldred was convicted of theft for taking and pawning the jewelry of another woman he met online. According to court documents, the Arizona victim also told police Alldred claimed to be a Navy Seal.
The sentencing memo filed by Arizona prosecutors mentions KARE 11’s report and Linda’s case, saying Alldred has shown a “clear pattern of thievery.”
Alldred’s many alleged victims are angry that he hasn’t been stopped and remains free despite the damage they say he’s caused to their lives and finances.
“He is destroying people’s lives and our justice system just keeps letting him walk away,” Linda said.