Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

EVERETT — A lawyer in a fake beard and sunglasses tried to rob a bank Wednesday in Everett, by bluffing that a gunman was waiting outside with a high-powered rifle, according to Everett police.

Earlier in the day Richard Kriger, 60, had called Banner Bank on Colby Avenue to make an appointment. He wanted to take out a $26,000 loan in unmarked bills to pay back his nephew. Otherwise he would lose his house, he said, according to a police report filed in court.

Kriger showed up around 4:30 p.m. in a black suit, a fake beard, sunglasses, a nylon hair net and a baseball cap, police wrote. He told an employee that his nephew was sitting outside with a rifle, a scope and a police radio scanner. If law enforcement were called, Kriger said, the nephew would come into the bank shooting people, according to the report.

Apparently, the employee called his bluff. Kriger was arrested for investigation of first-degree robbery. No gunman was outside.

On Thursday a judge set bail at $25,000, at Kriger’s first appearance in court.

Records show Kriger worked as a civil attorney in Eastern Washington and Idaho, starting in the 1980s. He specialized in lawsuits related to car crashes. He’d been retained by plaintiffs in many personal injury cases in Snohomish County over the past decade, until the state bar suspended him in December 2014.

The most serious mark on his record appears to be a fatal car crash from 1996 in Post Falls, Idaho. His Jeep ran into a pedestrian, 75, who was on his daily walk, according to an article in The Spokane Spokesman-Review. Kriger told an officer he’d looked down at his wallet for a moment. A judge sentenced him to 20 days on a work program and 100 hours of community service.

Kriger’s law office is located a few blocks south of the Everett bank. A call to the office went straight to voice mail Thursday. The state bar lists his license as active. Last year, however, he posted a resume online in search of a job as a life insurance salesman.

“Sharp, eloquent and articulate,” he wrote. “Ability to think through complex problems with a creative mind.”

Reporter Caitlin Tompkins contributed to this story.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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