LAWFUEL – Legal Announcements – A man who fled the United States after his investment company collapsed and the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating his activities has been extradited from Spain to the United States, where he faces federal fraud charges.
After arriving in Los Angeles late yesterday, Hartmut Haussecker, 52, made his first court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court. A United States Magistrate Judge ordered him held until a bond hearing on June 24. The government has filed a motion seeking to have Haussecker held without bond. A federal grand jury indicted Haussecker in 2001, charging him with nine counts of mail fraud, five counts of securities fraud and four counts of money laundering. Haussecker was indicted in the Central District of California under seal in 2001. Haussecker – who lived in Whittier, Yorba Linda and Branson, Missouri – fled the United States in November 1996.
Haussecker, who also used the names Hartmut Schlor and Frank Otto Schlor, is a German national who managed an investment fund called Cihaco International, Inc. From 1992 through 1996, Cihaco raised approximately $12 million from approximately 450 investors. Haussecker and co-schemers falsely told investors that their funds would be pooled with other investors’ money and that they would earn substantial investment returns, ranging from approximately 2 percent to 37 percent monthly and 110 percent to 225 percent annually. Haussecker claimed that he used the Cihaco investment pool to trade in currencies, commodities, stocks and futures. Many of the victims investing in Cihaco lived in Utah, Idaho and Oregon, as well as in Southern California.
The indictment alleges that Haussecker misappropriated investors’ money to pay off sales agents and to finance his extravagant lifestyle. The government alleges that Haussecker used the vast majority of investors’ money to finance the construction of a $1.5 million home in Missouri, to pay for numerous expensive automobiles and a boat, and to maintain a wine collection worth more than $100,000.
After Haussecker fled the United States – first to Germany and then to Spain – a receiver was appointed in 1997 to oversee Cihaco’s remaining assets, but victims were able to recover only pennies on the dollars invested.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If he is convicted of the charges contained in the indictment, Haussecker faces a statutory maximum sentence of 150 years in federal prison.
Haussecker is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on Monday.
The case is result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS – Criminal Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Paul Stern
Major Frauds Section