The founder of a failed Pasco biofuels company will have to argue why sentencing should be delayed until May when he’s already admitted to scheming to defraud investors of $10.4 million.
U.S. District Court Judge Sal Mendoza Jr. decided Michael Spitzauer’s attorney will need to discuss the proposed sentencing delay 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Richland federal courthouse.
Spitzauer, founder and CEO of Green Power, was supposed to be sentenced during the Wednesday hearing.
He admitted to two of the 45 charges by a federal grand jury in exchange for prosecutors recommending four years imprisonment as part of a plea bargain deal made in January.
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Spitzauer, 46, of Kennewick, was indicted on wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, tax evasion and lying on his federal tax return. Many of the charges stem from his actions as Green Power’s CEO.
Spitzauer’s victims include companies and investors from Texas, Maryland, British Columbia, Ireland, Australia, China and Slovenia.
Spitzauer’s attorney, Christopher Black, asked for the sentencing to be postponed to give him time to investigate new reasons why the charges against Spitzauer should be dismissed.
Mendoza already turned down a December attempt by Spitzauer to get the case against him dismissed based on claims that prosecutors illegally recorded his phone calls with his attorney, violating his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights.
Mendoza previously ruled that the indictment against Spitzauer stood and prosecutors could use information from other recorded phone conversations at trial because prosecutors took significant measures to ensure that they didn’t listen in on calls between Spitzauer and Black.
Black wrote in court documents that he’s found new evidence about those recorded jail calls based on records requests made to the Yakima County jail through a third party.