Judge tightens terms of resort suitor’s freedom
Published: April 29,2012
Tags: Tamarack Resort
A federal judge on April 27 tightened restrictions on an indicted former Tamarack Resort suitor, to prevent him or anybody else from trying to unload disputed assets central to the government’s criminal case against him.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale stopped short of ordering Matthew Hutcheson back to jail but set new conditions to safeguard a golf-course loan that prosecutors allege the independent fiduciary from Eagle bought with money bilked from a retirement fund.
Prosecutors called for the April 27 hearing after Hutcheson’s father-in-law, Brad Mason, met investors April 19 at Tamarack to market the golf-course loan. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Patricco alleged that Mason’s activities violated release terms that forbid Hutcheson from raising investor cash.
Under the new restrictions, Dale ordered Hutcheson and anybody associated with him not to solicit investors or sell the loan.
“I considered strongly ordering detention until I had this assurance that the status quo is being maintained,” Dale told Hutcheson in U.S. District Court.
Hutcheson, who made a failed $40 million offer for Tamarack in 2010, was hit earlier this month with a 31-count grand jury indictment accusing him of diverting $5 million from retirement funds he oversaw to remodel his home and buy the $3.2 million golf course loan that was part of his plan to take control of Tamarack.
After the April 27 hearing, he avoided a reporter outside the Boise courthouse before climbing into an SUV driven by Mason.
Dale rejected a suggestion by Hutcheson’s lawyer, Dennis Charney, that his client be allowed to continue to try to find somebody to buy the loan. It would be better for the retirement accounts to see money for the loan, rather than have attempts to sell it blocked by the courts, Charney said.
Dale disagreed, saying such a deal remains speculative.
Not only is the note tied up in this federal criminal case, but a Virginia lender has filed a separate claim to it after Hutcheson pledged it as collateral on a $425,000 loan in mid-2011.
Mason was assigned as Hutcheson’s third-party custodian April 12, meaning he’s required to report activities by his son-in-law that could run afoul of the courts.
If, just a week later, Mason was meeting on behalf of Hutcheson’s company with people interested in the golf course loan, it calls into question his suitability to supervise his son-in-law, Patricco told Dale, suggesting a new person should be found to supervise him.
Dale allowed Mason to remain Hutcheson’s custodian but renewed her warnings against violating his son-in-law’s release conditions.
“Do you understand you could be held in contempt of court?” she asked.
Mason responded in short, clipped answers that he was aware of the consequences.
“Yes,” he said, several times, in response to Dale’s admonishments.
Most of the hearing was devoted to Mason’s explanation for his Tamarack tour, when resort officials became concerned enough that he was violating the court’s restrictions that they informed federal prosecutors.
Mason told Dale his involvement was innocent: The two investors had long planned to visit Tamarack and insisted on coming, despite his attempts to warn them they’d be better off waiting until the courts had resolved the matter.
Mason didn’t know the investors’ last names, he said, referring to them only as “Monty” and “Mahdi.”
“They said they were going to come anyway,” Mason told Dale. “I felt it would be better to show them around rather than have them wander around the resort by themselves.”
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