Oh boy, this could be very, very big. From Fox News:
California businessman Norman Hsu, a former New York apparel executive and major contributor to Democratic candidates and causes, failed to appear for a bail reduction hearing Wednesday, leading to speculation that he again is a fugitive from the law, FOX News has learned.
Hsu’s attorneys say they do not know his whereabouts, and that their client did not surrender his passport.
Hsu turned himself in to authorities last week after more than 15 years on the run from a felony conviction of grand theft. He admitted to defrauding investors of $1 million in a bogus investment scam.
He failed to appear in court for sentencing on that 1991 conviction, a revelation that prompted high profile Democrats — including presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — to return thousands of dollars donated by Hsu.
The man has a history of running from the law, so why in God’s green earth was he not forced to surrender his passport before now? Allahpundit jokes: “Maybe he’s stuck in traffic?” This does not look good for the Dems. One of their biggest donors is again on the lam.
The LA Times reports that a warrant has been issued for his arrest:
A warrant was issued this morning for Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, who failed to appear this morning for a bail hearing on a 15-year-old grand theft charge.
Superior Court Judge Robert Foiles ordered Hsu, a major fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, to be held without bail should he make an appearance. Last week, he was released after posting $2 million bail.
Hsu’s attorney James Brosnahan, explained that he had lost contact with Hsu and that the financier had failed to deliver his passport as promised.
“Mr. Hsu is not here and we don’t know where he is,” Brosnahan said outside court. “We expected him to be here.”
Brosnahan told Foiles that a legal assistant for his law firm went to Hsu’s New York City condominium last week and spent 90 minutes searching for Hsu’s passport.
They couldn’t find his passport? Did he hide it with the intention of taking off?
Question: What did Hillary know and when did she know it?
Update: The NYT:
Mr. Hsu, who had been free on $2 million bond, was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Redwood City at 9 a.m. Pacific time to surrender his passport. But when the appointed time came and went with no sign of Mr. Hsu, his lawyer and prosecutors met in chambers with the judge, who then announced he was revoking Mr. Hsu’s bail and issuing a new warrant for his arrest.
So, two and a half hours later, no Mr. Hsu. If he hasn’t shown up yet, he’s not going to. Ever.
And then there’s this utter stupidity:
Ralph Sivilla, an assistant California attorney general, said the government had believed that the $2 million bail and Mr. Hsu’s agreement to remain in the country were sufficient to ensure that he would not flee.
“Those circumstances seemed to suggest he was not a flight risk,” Mr. Sivilla said. “I don’t know at this point what our next step will be.”
Not a flight risk? Good God, man, Hsu fled before. He most certainly was a flight risk.
Update II: Hsu’s companies don’t seem to exist either. From Philip Klein from the American Spectator blog:
I spent yesterday digging for some answers about the mysterious Democratic fundraiser and confessed grand thief Hsu and wound up with more questions.
In campaign finance reports, Hsu’s companies are listed as: Next Components Ltd., Cool Planets Ltd., Because Men’s Clothes, and Dilini Management. But none of the companies have online footprints or appear in fashion industry directories that I have searched. The only official recognition of any of these companies that I have found is Next Components, in the form of a filing for a certificate of corporation with the New York Department of State, Division of Corporations — but even that doesn’t hold up to closer scrutiny. The filing was from May 6, 2005, and when I called the Division of Corporations, a representative there told me that the filing needed to be renewed every two years for a fee of $9, but Next Components never responded to the renewal notice.
The filing lists 561 Seventh Ave., Suite 1301 as the address for Next Components, but I called Handro Properties, the management company that runs the building, and was told that not only have they never heard of Next Components, but “Suite 1301” doesn’t even exist.
Everything about this guy is deceitful. No wonder the Clintons like him so much.
Update III: Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House:
Well, that’s just peachy. His defense team has known for a week that his passport is missing and didn’t bother to tell authorities? Especially given this guy’s past history of skedaddling when the heat is on?
So the story will die and Hillary is safe. Funny how this kind of thing always happens to the Clinton’s just in the nick of time.