EUGENE, Ore. — Theft victims packed a Lane County courtroom to hear a Eugene business man get sentenced for stealing nearly $1 million from his victims.
James Scott McKee entered a conditional plea and will now spend four years behind bars for his crimes.
All of the seats in the courtroom were filled, and a number of the victims told the court how the fraud affected them.
One woman says he stole money from her dying mother. Another says he took money that would have gone to adopt a little girl.
McKee entered an Alford guilty plea, which means the he does not admit the criminal act and asserts innocence, but he does admit the evidence the prosecution has would likely persuade a judge or jury to find guilty.
He was sentenced on nine charges and will serve four years plus probation.
The common theme among the victims was that he took their trust, some their life savings that was money meant for their children and grandchildren.
“Feels real good. That’s what I expected he would get,” said Robert Flick.
“My heart breaks for his family, absolutely breaks for his family breaks for all of us who were victimized. But you know the pain of his children and the pain of his family is incalculable. There is nothing about this thing that didn’t have pain,” said victim Woodeene Koenig-Bricker.
McKee is ordered to pay back the money he took from his victims. How long that will take is unclear.
The state also told the court that while McKee was defrauding his victims, he was living in a home valued at a million dollars, taking lavish trips and had six cars.
After his sentence and before he was led away in handcuffs, he hugged all of his children.