Mesa County DA: $4 Million Bond Not Enough To Cage Hsu [Update: $5 Million Is?]
Yesterday, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported that Mesa County (Colorado) District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, the attorney handling Norman Hsu's court hearing today, planned to ask the judge for at least a $4 million bond. That's decent walking around money, but given that Hsu apparently didn't think twice about skipping out on a $2 million bond last week, one had to wonder whether even this was a price the serial fugitive would be willing to pay (perhaps with other people's money) for another chance to ride the freedom train.
In response, an alert Suitably Flip reader (who asked that his name not be published) e-mailed the DA, to ask whether he was in fact "nuts" and whether he really wanted "'Hautzinger' to become an Internet adjective."
This was the response he received from DA Hautzinger a little over an hour ago (assuming the time stamp is set to Mountain Time).
From: Pete Hautzinger <Pete.Hautzinger@mesacounty.us>
Date: Sep 13, 2007 1:53 PM
Subject: Re: Bond for Hsu, are you nuts?
To: [Alert Suitably Flip Reader]
Colorado law requires that bond be set in all cases but capital murder, and even then only when proof is evident and the presumptions great. I am sworn to enforce the law of Colorado. A $4,000,000 would quadruple the highest bond ever set in this jurisdiction.
That having been said, I am now in possession of a lot more information about Mr. Hsu and his history. I would very much like to ask for no bond, but such in illegal under the law of my state. Rest assured, however, that I now will be asking the judge to set it a goo[d] deal higher than the $4,000,000 I had earlier contemplated.
Thanks for your interest,
21st Judicial District
Mesa County Justice Center
Update: Looks like Hautzinger kept his word.
District Attorney Pete Hautzinger asked for a whopping $50 million bond. Hautzinger cited new allegations from California and New York — where the DA said authorities have indicated their intent prosecute Hsu on new fraud charges — in requesting the high bond.
Hsu's checkbook showed he had access to $6 million when he was taken off a train in Grand Junction last week, he said.
"It's almost like monopoly money at this point," Hautzinger said.
Unfortunately, the judge was more of a trusting sort.
County Court Judge Bruce Raaum on Thursday ordered fugitive political donor Norman Hsu held on $5 million bond — believed to be largest bond ever set in a Mesa County criminal hearing.
"Two million wasn't enough ... we'll see if $5 million is," Raaum said.
Em... 15 years on the lam. Then arrested, freed on $2 million bond, and he FLEES AGAIN. Even after forfeiting that $2 million, we know he has access to at least another $6 million.
Even in the Mountain Time Zone, I'm virtually certain $6 million > $5 million.
There seem to be only three ways for this to play out once Hsu posts this bond (assuming Source Financial Investors isn't able to get his assets frozen in time): 1) he flees again, 2) he attempts suicide again, 3) in a repeat of last week's drama, he bafflingly does both.
Then again, other reports out this afternoon have Hsu waiving extradition and patiently awaiting transit back to California, so who knows.
Handcrafted by Flip on September 13, 2007 |
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