Knock, Knock, Knockin' On Norman's Door...
Well, buzz, buzz, buzzing Norman's buzzer, anyway.
With the well-heeled Democratic fundraiser (and once-and-again fugitive from justice) Norman Hsu skipping out on his court appointment in California this morning, forfeiting his $2 million bail in the process, the smart money seems to be on Hsu having already fled the country.
The Hong Kong native had not surrendered his passport to the court, not because he hadn't been asked to, but because he couldn't seem to find it.
On the off-chance that Hsu was still stuffing clothes in a duffle bag, I took a subway ride down to SoHo this evening and headed toward 160 Wooster Street, the address listed most frequently on the campaign disclosures documenting Hsu's bountiful political contributions over the last few years.
The blinds were closed behind all 10 sets of windows at Hsu's third floor loft (pictured) and the lights didn't seem to be on. Still, having made the trek, I strolled up and hit the buzzer for Hsu's unit. After a couple of fruitless buzzings, I went into the lobby and exchanged pleasantries with the doorman behind the desk.
"I'm trying to get in touch with Norman Hsu in 3C," I said. "Do you know if he's available?"
Only mildly less pleasantly, he responded, "You're going to need to step outside now."
He was perfectly polite about it, but unmistakably resolute, and I couldn't help but wonder whether my doorman would have my back if ever had to lam it. I'll bet Hsu is a better Christmas tipper than I...
Anyway, the darkened windows and mum doorman were no surprise, I suppose, but making the trip was an i worth dotting. After all, Hsu had been hiding not just in plain sight, but in a brilliant spot light in recent years, despite being a fugitive on a felony conviction carrying a three-year sentence. Given that California has been so lax (nay, absent) in their attempts to collect Hsu as he paraded and hobnobbed across the country these last few years, spilling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the pockets of Demcoratic officials along the way, and further, given that California once again managed to drop the ball by allowing this glaring flight risk to slip through their fingers, I figured I'd pitch in a tiny modicum of effort at locating him - namely by jumping on the subway and strolling up to Hsu's very public street address, knowable to anyone with access to a web browser.
That little trip, while cursory and unsuccessful tonight, is all authorities would have needed to do at any time to collar this convicted con man and bring him to justice. At $4 round-trip, I'd've thought it a bargain.
I have to agree with the smart money that Hsu is likely long gone. Asked today about whether Hsu may have fled the country, California assistant attorney general Ralph Sivilla commented, "I would imagine he has the capability."
I'll renew my prediction from earlier today: We'll never hear from Norman Hsu again.
Hsu Reclaims Fugitive Status, Forfeiting $2 Million Bail
Hsu vs. Abramoff
New Hsu Review: Following [the Rest Of] the Money
A Really Big Hsu...
Hillary Vows To Give [At Least Some Of] Hsu Contributions To Charity
From Now On, When the Phone Rings You Say, "Vandelay Industries."
Handcrafted by Flip on September 5, 2007 |
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