FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Right from the start, prosecutors considered it the biggest white collar case in Cumberland County history. They said Anthony Allen conned hundreds of retirees out of their life savings.
Investigators said so far, 58 people report losing a combined $11 million. The latest indictments involve two people who lost $500,000 each.
"We couldn't believe what had happened," he said. "One lady gave him $500,000 and she does not have a thing to show for it." said Art Tatem, who lost $55,000.
Investigators do not think any of the alleged victims will see their money again. They claim Allen spent money as quickly as he earned it.
Authorities believe Allen ran up huge bar tabs, leaving hundreds of dollars in tips and spending thousands at a time at restaurants and clubs around Fayetteville.
"In the fraud spectrum, I've never seen anything like that before in Fayetteville or even in Cumberland County," said Capt. Brad Chandler, of the Fayetteville Police Department.
While detectives build the criminal case against Allen, people like Tatem are looking for peace of mind.
"He sat here and talked to me about the Lord. He knew I was a minister. He knew how to play me," he said.
Allen has been in jail since October. His bail is set at close to $20 million.