An FBI spokesman said this morning he expects fugitive Democratic Party fundraiser Norman Hsu to remain in a Colorado hospital today and said that proceedings to transfer Hsu to California won't begin until after he leaves the hospital.
Special Agent Joseph Schadler said he did not know how soon Hsu will leave the hospital or how soon transfer proceedings will begin. In the meantime, Hsu is in federal custody at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colo., and is being watched by Mesa County sheriff's deputies,Schadler said.
Hsu, 56, was arrested by the FBI at the hospital at 7 p.m. Thursday on a federal charge of unlawful interstate flight to avoid prosecution.
Hospital spokeswoman Kim Williams said Hsu is in “fair condition.” She said she could not disclose the nature of his illness or say when he will be released.
Hsu had been taken to the hospital from an Amtrak train, according to Grand Junction police spokeswoman Linda Bowman.
Federal prosecutors filed the unlawful flight charge Thursday at the request of the California Attorney General's Office after Hsu failed to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on Wednesday for proceedings on a 15-year-old grand theft conviction in an investment fraud case.
Schadler said he expects the federal charge to be dropped after Hsu is transferred back to California.
He said the procedure for the transfer will be that Hsu will first appear before a federal magistrate in Colorado. Hsu will have the choice of either contesting or not contesting his return to California.
After a federal magistrate in Colorado orders the transfer, Hsu will appear before a federal magistrate in Northern California, probably in San Francisco, and then will be moved to San Mateo County custody, Schadler said. At that point, under normal procedures, the federal charge would be dropped, the FBI agent said.
A spokeswoman for Hsu's defense attorney, James Brosnahan of San Francisco, said Brosnahan had no comment.
Natalya LaBauve, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco, said she had no information about when the federal complaint filed against Hsu will be unsealed or when Hsu is expected to appear in federal court in San Francisco.
Deputy California Attorney General Ralph Sivilla said: “We appreciate the excellent work by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in obtaining an arrest warrant and apprehending Mr. Hsu as quickly as possible.”
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said he could not reveal the names of train passengers but said a passenger with “a medical issue” was taken off a train at Grand Junction midday Thursday after Amtrak crewmembers summoned emergency services.
Magliari said the train runs daily from Emeryville to Chicago via Denver. It left Emeryville at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday and was due in Grand Junction at 11:43 a.m. Thursday, but arrived a few minutes early, he said.
Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Mike Page said emergency responders from the department were summoned Thursday to aid a patient who had fallen on the train, according to a dispatch report.
The patient was able to walk off the train and arrived at the hospital at 12:02 p.m., Page said. State prosecutors said Hsu's lawyers told them he was due to arrive at Oakland International Airport on a chartered flight at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Schadler declined to give details on how the FBI found Hsu.
Lawyers from the state attorney general's office are acting as prosecutors in the San Mateo County grand theft case.
In that case, Hsu was accused in 1991 of stealing $1 million from about 20 investors to buy and resell latex gloves that did not exist, according to the attorney general's office. He pleaded no contest in 1992 to one count of grand theft and under the plea agreement was to be sentenced to three years in state prison and payment of restitution to the victims.
When Hsu failed to show up for sentencing in 1992, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest with bail set at $2 million.
Hsu eluded authorities for 15 years but after recent news stories
about his role as a political campaign contributor linked him to the grand
theft case, he surrendered before San Mateo County Superior Court Judge James
Ellis on Aug. 31 and posted $2 million bail.
When he failed to show up for his next hearing Wednesday, his bail was revoked and a new arrest warrant was issued.
According to Federal Election Commission records, a Norman Hsu — with apparel-related business names and addresses listed in New York and California — contributed $260,000 to political parties, most since 2004.
Recipients included the Democratic Party and Democratic U.S. senators Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., Barack Obama, D-Ill., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.