Hastert to face victims in debtors exam | TheUnion.com

Hastert to face victims in debtors exam

Thomas Hastert, who pleaded no contest to 63 counts of embezzlement and illegally selling real estate securities in August, will be in Nevada County Superior Court Thursday.

Hastert, who faces six to 15 years in prison, is facing an open court debtors examination, where victims and attorneys can ask him questions about his finances as a way toward determining possible restitution. The exam begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and could continue Friday.

Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti told Hastert in August that if he was found to be trying to hide assets, he could face a harsher sentence.

Dates for the restitution hearing and sentencing have not yet been set.

“Much of our lives are pending on tomorrow’s outcome,” said Melissa Kaput, who was instrumental in bringing Hastert to the attention of authorities and who has attended every hearing during the case.

Hastert took $20 million from area investors and using the money to give loans to people wanting to build homes. Prosecutors and victims said much of the money never went into legitimate loan accounts and contended Hastert had taken it. He also allegedly set up fake straw investors to lead original investors into thinking the loans they supposedly were funding were secure.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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