September 22, 2007

'Why Didn't They Go Get Him?'

Another Norman Hsu story escaped my attention last night, but it's interesting enough to add as an additional post rather than update my earlier post on the subject. The San Mateo Superior Court apparently learned a lesson from Hsu's hotfoot to Colorado, holding him this time without bail. Meanwhile, his attorney wondered aloud why California never sought Hsu even though he operated in plain sight of California elected officials -- and may have inadvertently answered his own question:

Fallen Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu was ordered held without bail Friday, and his attorney accused the FBI of extracting a confession while the convicted swindler was recovering from an apparent suicide attempt.

Hsu appeared briefly in San Mateo Superior Court on a 15-year-old grand theft conviction, one day after federal authorities charged him in New York with bilking investors out of $60 million. Investigators say he donated some of that money to numerous Democratic candidates and causes over the past several years.

Hsu did not speak while his attorney asked a judge to return the $2 million Hsu had posted as bail before skipping a court date earlier this month. The judge told attorney Jim Brosnahan to file formal court papers and scheduled Hsu's next court appearance for Sept. 28.

Brosnahan has nerve, at least. Hsu's bounced more than $40 million in checks since getting exposed as a fraud and convicted con man less than a month ago. With the FBI filing criminal charges over his fraudulent activities and investors suing him for their eight-figure losses, Brosnahan wants the court to give Norman Hsu $2 million that clearly doesn't belong to him. Does Hsu need it for his next Ponzi scheme? Besides, didn't Hsu forfeit that money when he ran out on his bail?

He may be a good lawyer, but Brosnahan may be an even better investigator. He asked the $63 million question yesterday, and even provided the $63 million answer:

"Mr. Hsu was not acting as a fugitive," Brosnahan said. Hsu appeared at prominent fundraisers on both coasts for high-profile candidates such as Clinton.

"Why didn't they go get him?" Brosnahan said outside court. "He was contributing to California politicians."

Gee, I wonder why California didn't seem all that interested in arresting Norman Hsu? It couldn't be because he generated tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to Californians like Attorney General Jerry Brown ($5500), Senator Dianne Feinstein ($22,162), Senator Barbara Boxer ($5,000), Congresswoman Doris Matsui ($16,850), and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma ($27,600), could it? What possible motive would they have in keeping Hsu free? (via Suitably Flip)

With those friends, it doesn't seem all that difficult to understand why California never bothered to chase down their fugitive. That's no small question, either, as investors who lost millions start to ask pointed questions about how Hsu managed to remain at liberty to run ever-larger con schemes. California authorities have a lot of questions to answer.


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Comments (12)

Posted by GarandFan | September 22, 2007 12:47 PM

How did Hzu escape? Easy, once he took off prior to sentencing, a warrant was entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The case was old and probably largely forgotten except by those who got taken. All the Democrats had to do was run a check on his name. NO ONE DID. If I offer to give you a couple thousand every couple of months, with promises of more from other people as well, are you going to check up on me? Or take the money?

How many people are aware that Roman Polanski still has an active felony warrant for statutory rape and unlawful flight still over his head? Didn't stop Hollywood from giving him an award a few years back. But he was smart enough not to come back from France to pick it up.

BTW, Brosnahan's request for the bail money back is typical. Unless the prosecutor objects to returning the bail, Brosnahan will be the first to lay claim to it for services rendered, he's not taking this case pro-bono.

Posted by J | September 22, 2007 1:05 PM

Gee - it appears if one gives a politician $5,000 they can avoid going to the slammer. Pretty cheap way to break the law. Lots of real Americans have got to wonder. DO you think the LA Times will pick up on this? Nah - too busy with the H'wood anti-American crowd.

Posted by KW64 | September 22, 2007 1:06 PM

I wonder if O'bama or Edwards will have the guts to break the omerta and bemoan whether Democratic primary voters will force the party to go through another endless series of Clinton scandals. They need to throw a hail mary anyway. It could sour their future in the party but maybe its worth a shot.

Posted by docjim505 | September 22, 2007 4:13 PM

Can you say "Culture of Corruption"? Democrats can... only if Republicans are involved.

Posted by SkyWatch | September 22, 2007 4:26 PM

I do not know how the security of the Secret Service works but wouldn't it be tight enough around a former first lady who is currently serving elected office as well as running for pres. that they run at least a criminal warrant check on people who get close to her?

Posted by Drew | September 22, 2007 5:20 PM

This does not speak well of the political culture.

Posted by DiscerningTexan | September 22, 2007 5:47 PM

Very astute observations about the Left Coasters.

Posted by jeff | September 22, 2007 8:06 PM

Ah, Fiona Ma. Do a google search on "Fiona Ma Shrimp Boy" for the goods on this servant of the people. San Francisco has a long history with Asian gangs, and thanks to Fiona Ma those same gangsters are now getting honored.

Oh yeah, Shrimp Boy and Hsu are also connected.

Posted by quickjustice | September 23, 2007 7:30 AM

"his attorney accused the FBI of extracting a confession while the convicted swindler was recovering from an apparent suicide attempt."

You could see this one coming from a mile away. Hsu called the FBI from his jail cell, begging to confess that he was acting alone in his cons, with no involvement from Hillary Clinton or her campaign. His California lawyer immediately played the "coerced confession"/insanity defense card. I smell "scripted" to keeps those waters muddy through at least election day 2008.

Yet Hsu clearly coordinated his campaign donations with at least one other "Hillraiser", and likely more. As Flip would say, it looks like the Clinton campaign is orchestrating its fundraising to an amazing degree, drawing in con men and shady characters from everywhere. Who orchestrated this? Ickes? Soros?

And Ed, you can transpose the CBS comments about Dan Rather being "had" to Hillary Clinton. Fool Hillary once, shame on you. Fool Hillary twice (or more), shame on her. Assuming the best case for Hillary Clinton (that she has been duped repeatedly), do we really want a dupe as President?

Posted by vincenzo4 | September 23, 2007 8:33 AM

I am quite confident that the Democrats will also Kremlinesque this from scrutiny. Curious minds will not connect the dots under the lack of Washington Post inquiry as Chinagate and the American Muslim Council campaign financing of her husband's presidency are lost to Watergate being rammed down everyone's throats in continued psychological war programming.

Posted by Curt LaRose | September 23, 2007 9:16 AM

I wonder if it would be possible for these investors that were bilked by Hsu to sue the democratic party? After all, that is where their money went.

Posted by Immolate | September 24, 2007 10:34 AM

If bail were immediately forfeit upon failure to appear, there would be no bounty hunters, and soon, no bail bondsmen.

People charged with a crime typically find a bail bondsman to pay the bail for them, a service for which they must pay about ten percent. Most people don't have enough money lying about to pay the full bail, even though they would get it all back.

When a bonded person "skips", or fails to appear at a proceeding that is required, the bondsman will attempt to contact them, then egage a skiptracer or bounty hunter if they cannot locate them through simple procedure.

Some time elapses after a failure to appear before judgement is entered requiring bond forfeiture. Depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances, that time may be a few weeks or considerably longer. If the defendant makes a court appearance prior to judgement being entered, the bond is usually not forfeit.

Bonds may also be exonerated if the defendant is dead, has been incarcerated by the same or another correctional facility, or for a variety of other practical or legal reasons.

So no, the two million would not be forfeit.

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