Friday, September 7, 2007

Feds bust Democrat fund-raiser Norman Hsu in Colorado

Bail-jumping Democratic fund-raiser Norman Hsu was busted in Colorado last night after two days on the lam from a California court hearing, authorities said.

FBI agents took Hsu into custody at St.Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, according to FBI spokesman Joseph Schadler.

"San Francisco FBI located him," Schadler said, and Colorado G-men and local cops made the collar.

St. Mary's spokesman Pete Smarr told the Daily News, "Norman Hsu was traveling on an Amtrak train when he became ill. Amtrak personnel called an ambulance when the train stopped in Grand Junction and had him transferred to St. Mary's Hospital. He is currently in the hospital under federal custody. He is in fair condition."

A spokesman for Hsu seemed suprised by news of the arrest last night. "I haven't been in contact with him for a couple of days," said spokesman Jason Booth. "I'm happy he's been found."

Hsu had been scheduled to appear in a San Francisco court Wednesday to turn over his passport and ask a judge to halve the $2 million bail he posted last week. That's when he had finally turned himself in after spending 15 years ducking sentencing on a felony theft conviction. But Hsu failed to show up at the bail reduction hearing and a judge issued an arrest warrant for him.

California attorney general spokesman Gareth Lacy said Hsu's lawyers had told prosecutors Hsu arrived by charter jet at the Oakland airport about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday local time and then vanished.

California authorities then sought the assistance of the FBI.

The 56-year-old businessman from Hong Kong had lived in a swank SoHo condominium until he was outed last week as a fugitive. He was a top political fund-raiser, giving $260,000 to a long list of Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, Gov. Spitzer and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. None of them knew he was a wanted man, they said.

Victims swindled by Hsu seethed yesterday at his misdeeds.

"He's a dirty liar. They never should have let him out of jail. I knew he would run," said a Fremont, Calif., man who lost $240,000 investing with Hsu in 1989 and 1990. "He really hurt me," said the retired man, who asked not to be identified. The fact that Hsu hoodwinked authorities and so many savvy politicians didn't surprise his California fraud victims.