Forget Waldo; where’s Lee Hindin?
September 23, 2011
Park City developer Lee Hindin used to be one of the Summit County Sheriff’s "most wanted." He was found and apprehended Jan. 21, 2010.
Now the Summit County Attorney isn’t sure of his location. The Maryland addresses his lawyer provided the court aren’t valid, or at least are unreliable, said prosecuting attorney Matthew Bates.
"He won’t tell us where he lives, and I think that’s disconcerting," said Summit County Attorney David Brickey.
Earlier this month, the office filed a motion requesting the court re-evaluate the terms of his bail, Bates said.
"Mr. Hindin has not appeared in court physically since spring 2010. Our office has concerns with knowing where he is at and what he’s doing," Bates said.
Hindin’s attorney Gail Laser appears at court dates, but she keeps requesting continuances for him saying he has health issues.
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"I want proof of address and more detailed poof of the medical conditions keeping him from coming out here," Bates said.
In July, a judge said the case may go to trial, and a scheduling conference for the trial is set for Oct. 3, he said.
Hindin, who is best known for developing what became the Waldorf Astoria Park City, is accused of several felonies. The list of charges filed in 3rd District Court includes two counts of theft by deception, communications fraud, two counts of forgery and "unlawful dealing with property by fiduciary."
The acts are believed to have occurred in 2007 and reported in 2009. Charges were filed in 2010.
Simply put, Bates said, it is believed Hindin used the power of attorney he possessed for clients to transfer their deeds for property near Canyons to himself, and then used those deeds as collateral to secure new loans.
If true, the transferring of deeds to himself was illegal, and the use of them as collateral was illegal, Bates explained.
"I hope there will eventually come a point in this case where Hindin will be held accountable for the fraud we believe he perpetrated and will pay restitution and perhaps serve jail time," Bates said. "I don’t want to find at that time he’s living in the Bahamas and I have to extradite him from a foreign country. I just don’t know where he’s at."
Laser and a friend of Hindin’s were contacted for comment, but neither returned messages.
Holding people accountable for misdeeds committed during the building boom of 2007-2008 has proven tricky since impropriety was widespread. Brickey said that any time victims come forward and evidence is found, he will take action.
"We want to avoid this kind of thing happening in the future Someone has been hurt," he said. "If Hindin turns out being the poster child for bad behavior, sorry; I didn’t suggest years ago for him to behave the way he did. He chose that, not the victim or me."