A former campaign worker for Max Linn, who mounted two eccentric U.S. Senate runs before dying in 2021, has been indicted for allegedly stealing $225,000 from his former boss.
Linn died a couple of months after Matt T. McDonald accused Linn of pointing a gun at him in a dispute over Linn’s cryptocurrency investments. McDonald worked for both of Linn’s Maine campaigns, which failed to garner many votes but drew attention because of controversies and theatrics that Linn embraced during his runs in 2018 and 2020.
McDonald, 42, of Hancock was indicted last week with one Class B theft charge, alleging he stole money that Linn had asked him to invest on Linn’s behalf. The indictment accuses McDonald of deceiving Linn into believing that the funds would be used to invest in “certain digital assets.”
Additional details about what happened to the money were unavailable Monday. The indictment says the amount McDonald is accused of stealing is more than $10,000, but Danna Hayes, spokesperson for Attorney General Aaron Frey, whose office is handling the prosecution, confirmed that the amount in question is $225,000.
Reached Monday by phone, McDonald said he was unaware of the indictment and had no comment about it.
McDonald sought a protection from harassment order against Linn in Hancock County in the fall of 2021, indicating in the petition that Linn sent him $225,000 in the spring of 2021. He wrote that Linn traveled to Indonesia for a few months that summer. When he returned, McDonald said Linn wanted to use the cryptocurrency to buy drugs from Indonesia falsely touted as COVID-19 cures, over McDonald’s objections.
Linn strongly denied the accusation. Ellsworth lawyer Steve Juskewitch, who represented Linn, called McDonald’s claims against Linn “pure fabrication to divert attention from the cryptocurrency dispute.” Juskewitch did not respond to a Monday request for comment.
Linn was a wealthy retired financial planner who spent the core part of his business career in Florida, where he colorfully ran for offices including governor as a Reform Party candidate in 2006. During that campaign, he landed a small plane on a public highway in Orlando.
He surfaced in Maine politics in early 2018 as a Republican who copied the style of then-President Donald Trump. After he was kicked off the primary ballot due to fraudulent signatures, he got on the ballot two years later as an independent but finished last behind Collins, Democrat Sara Gideon and independent Lisa Savage.
Linn also attended the infamous “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021, which devolved into a riot and insurrection aimed at preventing President Joe Biden from being confirmed as the winner of the 2020 election. Linn was never accused of having participated in any of the resulting violence.
It is unknown whether any of Linn’s relatives or beneficiaries could get paid restitution for the allegedly stolen money. When Linn died, he was survived by “his brother Kurt, beloved partner Hanna and many cousins,” according to his obituary.