- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Fugitive donor fails to appear for bail hearing
Question of the Day
Fugitive businessman Norman Hsu, who donated more than $1 million to senior Democrats, including the presidential campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, failed to appear yesterday for a bail-reduction hearing in a California court.
Hsu’s attorneys told San Mateo Superior Court Judge Robert Foiles they did not know the whereabouts of their client, who evaded capture for more than 15 years before his surrender to authorities last week.
“Mr. Hsu is not here, and we do not know where Mr. Hsu is,” San Francisco defense lawyer James Brosnahan said outside court. Mr. Brosnahan said “there was some contact” with Hsu a few hours before the scheduled 9 a.m. court appearance, but he declined to say who talked to Hsu.
In 1991, the Hong Kong native and New York apparel magnate failed to appear in court for sentencing after pleading no contest to a felony charge of defrauding investors of $1 million in a bogus investment scam.
Hsu had planned to ask Judge Foiles yesterday to cut his $2 million bail, which he posted last week, in half. After Hsu’s failure to appear in court, the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. If arrested again, Hsu will be jailed without bail.
Hsu was also supposed to turn over his passport yesterday, but Mr. Brosnahan said Hsu had failed to give the passport to his legal team.
The California Attorney General’s Office had agreed to the bail reduction because it would be used to reimburse the victims Hsu admitted swindling out of $1 million in the early 1990s.
“We did think that was enough,” Deputy Attorney General Ralph Sivilla said outside court, adding he was “troubled” Hsu did not turn over his passport.
Federal Election Commission records show Hsu has donated $260,000 to Democratic Party groups and federal candidates since 2004. He donated $23,000 to Mrs. Clinton of New York, which her campaign has since given to charity. He also donated to Mr. Obama’s senatorial campaign in 2004 and to his political action committee.
Mr. Obama, of Illinois, has said the $2,000 donation to his 2004 Senate campaign and the $5,000 he gave to his political action committee, known as Hopefund, will go to charity.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said it would give to charity the $43,700 Hsu made in donations, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it would give to charity the money he donated to it.
Hsu told reporters last week he thought the 1991 criminal charges had been taken care of when he completed his bankruptcy proceedings in the early 1990s.
“I have not sought to evade any of my obligations and certainly not the law,” he said in a prepared statement.
Hsu has not been linked to any foreign government, and the fraud charges are unrelated to campaign contributions. It is not known whether federal investigators are looking into his donations, most of which were made since 2003.
But some of his donations were made through several people, raising suspicions that the money came from foreign or other hidden sources.
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Pro-Russia rebel commander suggests passengers died days before Malaysian flight
- TYRRELL: The birth of a new alignment in the Middle East
- Despite rhetoric, gun prosecutions plummet under Obama
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq