Hsu defense motions denied
By Caitlin Cassady
January 4, 2008
Judge Stephen Hall today denied two defense motions from Democratic
fundraiser Norman Hsu's attorneys to drop charges in a 1991 case
that charged Hsu with defrauding around 20 investors of nearly
$1 million, which carry a three-year sentence.
Attorney James Brosnahan said that the fact that the case is
being tried 15.5 years after the original trial date is "not
an irrelevant matter."
Brosnahan stated that Hsu has a right to a speedy trial and is
arguing that the matter be dismissed so that Hsu can go to New
York where he is facing federal charges.
Defense attorneys have also filed motions that Hsu's previous
no-contest plea be withdrawn on the grounds that the sentencing
judge who accepted the plea has since retired.
Hall said that the fact of the matter is Hsu's decision to flee
caused all of the delays, and those delays "weigh heavily
The defense has also filed motions requesting that Hsu's $2 million
cash bail that was forfeited when he failed to appear at a Sept.
5, 2007, hearing be returned. Hall will be ruling on that later
today, as well as deciding whether to sentence Hsu today to three
years in state prison.
State prosecutors described the case as a Ponzi scheme involving
the sale of latex gloves that defrauded about 20 investors of
nearly $1 million. Hsu had originally faced 16 counts of grand
theft and pleaded no contest to one count in 1991, later failing
to appear for his sentencing in 1992, where he faced up to three
years in state prison.
After 15 years on the lam, Hsu was booked in San Mateo County
on Aug. 31, but failed to show up for his Sept. 5 hearing. Judge
Stephen Hall issued an arrest warrant and forfeited the $2 million
bail that Hsu had posted. Hsu was arrested Sept. 6 in a Colorado
hospital where he was taken after having a medical attack on an
Amtrak train. He was later returned to San Mateo County where
he has been in jail on a no-bail status.
In a separate federal complaint unsealed Sept. 19 by the U.S.
Attorney's Office in New York, Hsu is charged with $60 million
Ponzi scheme involving high-end apparel from China. That case
is expected to pick up upon resolution of Hsu's San Mateo County
Hsu is estimated to have personally contributed at least $260,000
to the Democratic Party, and reportedly raised larger sums by
bundling contributions from other donors, including $850,000 for
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Clinton's presidential campaign
has since returned the money.
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