Jan. 12—In basketball circles,
McCollister's head coaching starts and stops include Breck,
In legal circles, however, McCollister's standing as a personal injury attorney has taken a hit.
Last month, McCollister, 40, of
Also last month, a state agency recommended that McCollister be disbarred for professional misconduct in 2019 and 2020. McCollister opened his own injury law practice in
Federal prosecutors on
"He's kind of immediately just cooperating with the process and falling on the sword for himself," Pacyga said.
Sentencing guidelines call for 10 to 16 months in prison, Pacyga said. A sentencing hearing date will be scheduled after Wednesday's arraignment.
McCollister has coached the high school's basketball team since
If McCollister does plead guilty to the criminal charge, he would face immediate termination from the school district under its employee policy.
Other than petty misdemeanor moving violations dating back to 2017, McCollister does not have a criminal record in
McCollister did not respond to requests by the
WHAT HE IS ACCUSED OF
According to the federal charge, McCollister and unnamed others conspired to defraud auto insurers on policies provided pursuant to the state's no-fault insurance law.
Under that law, Minnesota insurers must provide at least
The charging document does not spell out what McCollister is alleged to have done and it is unclear why it was handed down last month. A spokeswoman for the
According to Pacyga, prosecutors allege McCollister hired "runners" to recruit clients who were supposedly injured in car crashes. The same runners would work with chiropractors who would fraudulently bill auto insurance companies for those clients' care, taking advantage of the no-fault insurance law.
It is a state, not federal, crime for an attorney to work with runners. What got McCollister prosecuted in
He said McCollister "lost his way for a while, his judgment spun out of control."
"That was quite a while ago in the past, but when this came up, he wanted to address it immediately," Pacyga said. "And rather than put the government through its paces in a case, he knew what he had done was wrong and he wanted to resolve this case quickly."
SUSPENDED FROM PRACTICING LAW
McCollister was admitted to practice law in
He remains on a two-year suspension, which was handed down by the state's highest court in
McCollister's professional conduct was first called out by the state agency in 2013, when he "unconditionally" admitted to allegations that he was paid by a competing attorney outside his firm for referring potential clients. McCollister's law license was suspended for 30 days.
In 2019, McCollister again was suspended from practicing law for 30 days for misconduct, including that he had agreed to a settlement without a client's knowledge or consent and forged the client's name on the settlement agreement.
Last month, McCollister and the state
SUCCESS ON THE BASKETBALL COURT
McCollister, who grew up in
After coaching the next two years at
In McCollister's first season, the
"This has kind of been our M.O., to come in and breathe life into programs," McCollister told the
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