Gilbert Million
Gilbert Million

Gilbert Million, the Boulder man indicted Friday for allegedly striking a real estate deal that was "extremely unusual and highly favorable to him," and from which he's accused of improperly collecting more than $30,000, says the sale was "friendly" and "fair," and that the five felony charges he now faces have been filed in error.

"Whatever arrangement there was is not criminal," said Scott McComas, Million's attorney. "This is not something that would be prosecuted in my experience. I think that when all the facts come out, it'll be abundantly obvious."

The 55-year-old Million, son of the late Isadore Million, longtime owner of iconic Boulder coffee shop Penny Lane, allegedly agreed to buy a home on Sixth Street near North Boulder Park from an 86-year-old woman he'd met through volunteer work.

"It's a fair deal,"Million said Saturday. "The seller is a very sweet person. I care about her dearly."

According to the indictment, the two struck a deal that, among other stipulations, had Million paying the woman $9,000 at the close of the sale, originally scheduled for March 2013.

The woman never got that check, though, as the close of the sale was rescheduled for August 2014.

"We just had a delay in the closing," Million said. "That's the only thing. I think she'd say the same thing.

"Things just got delayed. My mother got sick, my father died, we had the flood, my attorney was late on closing the paperwork. We were trying to get to the closing, but we had a series of events."

Two months after the original closing date, Million allegedly began renting the home, and sending $3,250 monthly checks to a business partner, Lance Stromberg.

Both Million and Stromberg now face felony theft charges, while the former faces four additional felony counts.

Million acknowledged he's been collecting rent from a property for which he is "currently not the legal owner," but said the deal was made in "good faith" with the understanding that the sale would eventually be made final.

Million's camp also expressed great frustration with the fact that the complaint brought against him — and which has led to his indictment and a warrant for his arrest — came from a neighbor, not the woman with whom he was negotiating.

"The fact that this doesn't come from the homeowner is literally disgusting," said Million's brother, Aaron.

McComas added, "There is information yet to be brought to light that will make it clear that this is not a transaction that should be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in the criminal process."

Million will turn himself in to police by 5 p.m. Monday, McComas said.

Stromberg, for whom an arrest warrant also was filed, could not be reached Saturday.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Alex Burness at 303-473-1389 or burnessa@dailycamera.com.