(AP) Former White House adviser Claude Allen is negotiating with prosecutors in hopes of avoiding a trial on theft charges, according to his attorney.
Allen was to go on trial Friday for allegedly trying to make fraudulent returns worth at least $5,000 at Target and other stores.
But Montgomery County prosecutors and Allen's attorneys have agreed to postpone the trial while negotiations continue, according to Allen lawyer Gregory Craig. He would not elaborate on the talks.
Prosecutor Douglas Gansler would not comment.
Allen, 45, was one of President Bush's top domestic policy advisers in a $161,000-a-year job until he resigned in February, a month after he was arrested at a Target store in Gaithersburg.
He cited personal reasons at the time, and reportedly told the White House that the arrest was the result of a mix-up with his credit cards. White House officials later said they were unaware of the extent of Allen's legal problems, and Bush said it would be "deeply disappointing" if Allen had misled them.
According to police, Allen would buy items, take them to his car, then return to the store and choose identical items from the shelves. Using the receipt from his first purchase, he would then return the second items and receive a refund.
He is accused of using the scheme at least 25 times, on purchases ranging from a $525 theater system to items that cost just $2.50.
Each of the charges against him - theft and theft scheme over $500 - carries a possible prison sentence of 15 years.
Funny how conservatives tried passing off some silly story about Claude's "evil" twin brother was the actual culprit, and Claude was doing the honorable, "family" thing and taking the blame. Yeah, right? Michelle Malkin went as far as accusing "the left" of making up the whole thing to attack a Black Republican. "If it turns out that Claude Allen, a father of three who reportedly has bailed out his troubled twin brother before, tried to protect Floyd Allen and ruined his career out of familial love, that is an extraordinary thing...My prediction: Look for lead clowns David Gregory and Dana Milbank to try and turn this into the next Watergate. These fools can't help themselves." Malkin is such a loser. Just another Bush Administration official who feels entitled to take whatever he wants, and ignore laws that he feels don't apply to him. Just like his boss.