Theft charges against a fund-raiser for Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. are expected to be dropped Monday because authorities do not believe they can show he committed a crime in persuading an elderly Maryland woman to give her life savings to LaRouche's political organization, defense attorneys said yesterday.

The fund-raiser, Keith Levit, 35, of Baltimore, was arrested in Prince George's County last month after a Greenbelt police officer investigated a report that Levit had collected $30,409 from an 82-year-old Greenbelt woman.

But Levit's attorneys filed a motion this week asking a District Court judge to dismiss the charges. The attorneys said the police officer, Detective Carolyn McLean, behaved improperly during her investigation and failed to gather sufficient evidence before arresting Levit.

The attorneys, John P. Flannery II and William C. Brennan Jr., said a Prince George's prosecutor reviewed the case file Wednesday, then told Brennan she would not contest the motion. The prosecutor, Assistant State's Attorney Diane Adkins, declined to comment on the case yesterday.

In their motion, the lawyers referred to a complaint that McLean filed with a District Court commissioner to obtain an arrest warrant for Levit. They said the complaint did not indicate Levit had committed a crime.

"It is alleged that Mr. Levit 'convinced' {the woman} to make these contributions, but there is no allegation that, in convincing her, he made any misrepresentations or otherwise deceived her," the attorneys said.

They also accused the detective of "prosecutorial misconduct."

They said McLean, acting without legal guidance, tried to seize LaRouche organization records in Virginia using an improper grand jury subpoena from Maryland, waited seven months to charge Levit after obtaining the arrest warrant and drummed up unfavorable publicity for Levit "by taking a television camera crew in tow to arrest him."

Neither Levit nor McLean could be reached last night. Flannery and Brennan are private attorneys representing Levit and are not associated with the LaRouche organization.

LaRouche, a political extremist, is a three-time presidential candidate. He is running for Congress this year from Virginia's 10th District while serving a 15-year federal prison term for tax evasion and mail fraud.

Levit was one of 16 LaRouche associates indicted in 1987 in Virginia on charges of fraudulent fundraising. Authorities alleged they solicited as much a $30 million in loans, knowing the lenders would not be repaid.

Since then, the organization has changed fund-raising tactics and in several instances persuaded people to give them money outright, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which monitors LaRouche activities.

"The get-LaRouche task force, which includes public agencies, but also private agencies, including the Anti-Defamation League -- they're saying it's a crime to convince someone to support a political candidate with dollars," said LaRouche spokesman Dana Scanlon. "This is wrong. This is the essence of the thought police."

Levit, free on bond while awaiting trial in Virginia, persuaded the 82-year-old Greenbelt woman to donate $30,409 from June through September 1988, according to court documents. The donations were brought to McLean's attention in September 1988 by a social worker who had dealings with the woman.

Without consulting Prince George's prosecutors, McLean obtained a Maryland grand jury subpoena in May 1989 and tried to use it to confiscate LaRouche computer records in Virginia, according to the defense attorneys. The subpoena "had no lawful force," Levit's attorneys said.

In August 1989, a Circuit Court judge declared the Greenbelt woman mentally incompetent to manage her financial affairs. The ruling made her ineligible to appear as a witness in any criminal case. Despite the finding, McLean obtained a warrant to arrest Levit in December 1989.

The seven-month delay in arresting Levit violated his constitutional rights, the defense attorneys said.