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Denver attorney pleads guilty to stealing from investor he worked with during Clinton presidency

A Denver businessman and former licensed attorney faces up to six years in prison for taking an investor's money and keeping it for himself.   

Steven Bachar pleaded guilty to one felony count of theft on Monday in a Denver courtroom.

Bachar could received probation or be ordered to serve between two and six years in prison when he stands before a judge for sentencing on Nov. 6.

Regardless, Bachar has agreed to repay $182,000 to the investor as part of his sentence.

Steven Bachar Denver District Attorney's Office

According to a press release from the Denver District Attorney's Office, Bachar co-founded Empowerment Capital LLC and several subsidiaries. In October 2017, Bachar accepted $75,000 from an investor in exchange for 10% percent interest in Empowerment's profits. Two months later, Bachar was paid another $50,000 by the same investor for additional ownership in one of the subsidiaries. 

Bachar never invested the money, according to the district attorney's office. Instead, he spent most of it personally. 

In fact, Bachar never sought the approval for the sharing of profits with his Empowerment Capital business partner. That approval was legally required to approve of the offer Bachar made to the investor. 

"Mr. Bachar never asked for his consent to admit any new members to Empowerment Capital," according to the affidavit in the case. 

The investor, currently a North Carolina resident, was not identified in the affidavit. But the investor did tell investigators that he met Bachar in 1992 while both worked "on a presidential campaign and subsequent administration."

The pair developed a "strong working relationship and friendship" over the course of several years, as stated in the affidavit.

Steven Bachar, right, walks with President Bill Clinton during their visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1995 for the G-7 Economic Summit. White House/Emory University

Bachar was a staffer on President Bill Clinton's campaign, according to an Emory University profile of Bachar, an alumnus. 

A 2015 press release announcing Bachar's hiring at a local law firm stated Bachar served in the U.S. Department of the Treasury at some point during Clinton's time in office. It adds that Bachar also worked for former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and worked on the boards of several non-profits, including the Children's Museum of Denver and Opera Colorado. 

Bachar lost his license to practice law in Colorado in August 2022. He was disbarred by the state following two civil lawsuits against he and Empowerment Capital involving the delivery of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Judges ruled Bachar and Empowerment Capital were legally responsible for judgements of $700,000 and $4 million in those cases.   

Bachar failed to show up for a previous sentencing hearing in his current case in March, according to online court records.

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