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Indicted Tamarack buyer aims to represent himself

The man who once wanted to buy Tamarack Resort but was instead indicted on fraud charges related to the proposed deal is again at odds with an attorney who is supposed to represent him.

Matthew Hutcheson now wants to represent himself against charges that he raided retirement funds he oversaw of some $5 million to help him buy Tamarack, purchase vehicles and fix up his house, according to U.S. District Court filings.

His current attorney, Samuel Richard Rubin of Boise, sought permission to act as Hutcheson’s standby counsel. Rubin writes in the six-page court document there is a serious breach of trust between him and Mr. Hutcheson.

“Mr. Hutcheson does not believe that this office is pursuing a course of action that properly represents his interest,” Rubin wrote. “Furthermore there appears to be an irreconcilable breakdown in communication at least as far as representation is concerned between Mr. Hutcheson and the attorneys in this office.”

Hutcheson didn’t return a phone call seeking comment on Feb. 1.

Rubin, who works with Federal Defenders Service of Idaho in Boise, also didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

Just last year, a judge dismissed Hutcheson’s previous lawyer over similar concerns.

At the time, however, U.S. Magistrate Candy Dale warned Hutcheson she wouldn’t tolerate repeated requests for new counsel where adequate and competent counsel has been provided.

A new judge who has taken over the case, Senior U.S. District Judge William Fremming Nielsen, was supposed to hold a conference with Hutcheson on Jan. 31 to review the request for the defendant to represent himself, but Hutcheson didn’t show up for the meeting in Boise.

A new hearing date was scheduled for Feb. 5, though the judge said his tolerance for no-shows from Hutcheson had reached its limits.

“If the defendant fails to appear it is likely that an arrest warrant will be issued,” Nielsen wrote.

Hutcheson, who once helped steward millions in client money but is now out of jail under supervision of his father-in-law, in 2010 offered to buy Tamarack Resort located 90 miles north of Boise for $40 million from a group of lenders led by bankers at Credit Suisse Group.

After the deal collapsed, however, he was charged last April with 31 felonies including wire fraud.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the independent pension fiduciary diverted a total of $5.3 million from retirement accounts he oversaw to not only further his Tamarack bid, but also pay for personal items including a BMW convertible, hot tub, a tractor, barn, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles and a fancy dog house at his home near Eagle that he’s since been forced to give up.

In court documents, Rubin said he and Hutcheson quickly developed conflicts over the best way to move forward with his defense.

“It became apparent the Mr. Hutcheson held a significantly different opinion of how to proceed with his case and advance his theory of the case from that of counsel,” Rubin wrote. “At this point, our office is incapable of effectively representing Mr. Hutcheson because, among other privileged matters, of his distrust and lack of communication.”

A trial date is set for April.

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