Democratic 'Hillraiser' Hsu gets 3 years

Convicted of fraud
January 4, 2008 12:34:45 PM PST
Disgraced political donor Norman Hsu was sentenced Friday to three years in prison after a judge rejected his bid to throw out a 16-year-old fraud conviction.Hsu's lawyers had asked Judge Stephen Hall to dismiss his 1992 no-contest plea, arguing that Hsu's right to a speedy trial was violated because authorities were not actively pursuing him during his years as a fugitive. They could easily have arrested Hsu, his lawyers argued, at one of the fundraisers he hosted in California for prominent local politicians.

Hsu also faces federal fraud charges in New York.

His troubles began dogging Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and other big-name Democrats last summer when news reports revealed he was a fugitive who fled the state before he was sentenced for the 1992 fraud conviction. He turned himself in on Aug. 31 - then fled again.

He was recaptured in September in Colorado after he tried to kill himself by overdosing on drugs aboard an eastbound Amtrak train. Hsu has since been held without bail in a Redwood City jail.