As his former attorney’s troubles mount in Kentucky and Ohio, Michael Hild will wait another month for a chance to have his guilty verdict overturned.
The planned March 8 hearing at which the former Live Well Financial CEO was to argue for an acquittal or new trial in his criminal case was postponed at the last minute until April 29.
No reason for the delay was given in the latest court filing.
Hild was found guilty by a jury last April on all counts, including securities fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud, for his role in a reverse mortgage bond pricing scheme that helped topple his once-fast-growing and now-bankrupt Chesterfield-based firm.
Hild had pleaded not guilty and has remained free since the verdict.
Armed with a new attorney, he’s successfully delayed sentencing while plotting a case against his former attorney, Benjamin Dusing, who Hild claims was wrongfully ineffective during the three-week trial due in part to legal troubles of his own.
Dusing and Hild were childhood friends from Kentucky. Hild enlisted Dusing to represent him in the trial last year after initially hiring a team from well-known law firm Murphy & McGonigle in Washington, D.C.
Hild’s case is playing out in federal court in Manhattan. If his effort for a new trial or acquittal is unsuccessful, he faces a combined maximum of 115 years in prison, though his sentence will surely be lower. He also faces a maximum fine of $5 million.
Hild is currently represented by Brian Jacobs of New York law firm Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello.
The government claimed Hild helped mastermind a scheme to defraud Live Well’s banks by falsely inflating the value of Live Well’s reverse mortgage bonds, in order to induce the lenders into loaning more money to Live Well than they otherwise would have.
Hild’s defense was built largely on arguing that the bond prices presented were based on the best estimate of their market value, despite that price being difficult to calculate.
While Hild pleaded not guilty, two of his former Live Well lieutenants – CFO Eric Rohr and head trader Darren Stumberger – have pleaded guilty to similar charges and await their fate. Their sentencing dates have been repeatedly pushed back due to their involvement in the Hild case as cooperating witnesses for the prosecution.
Rohr and Stumberger have also remained free throughout the case.