Embattled entrepreneur Michael Liberty’s fall from grace was delayed in late May by another tumble, down a flight of stairs.
A federal judge agreed to delay the hearing until August, when federal prosecutors in Maine will seek to imprison Liberty for up to six months for illegally masking $22,500 in donations to the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.
Liberty’s lawyers requested the delay after the May 20 fall down a flight of stairs exacerbated a previous back injury. A Florida chiropractor and California doctor who reviewed Liberty’s X-rays suggested he not sit for more than 15 minutes, preventing his travel from his home in Orlando, Florida, to Maine.
In addition to jail time, Libert, 56, faces a possible minimum fine of $67,500. Liberty had requested the hearing be delayed until at least July 28. It is scheduled for Aug. 9 in Portland.
He separately faces a charge that he lied to federal financial regulators, allegedly hiding money in a company, Xanadu Partners LLC, to avoid paying most of a $6 million penalty levied against him in an earlier fraud investigation. Liberty denies those charges and any misrepresentation of his finances.
In the SEC case, Liberty’s attorneys and prosecutors are scheduled to hold a settlement conference July 10 in Philadelphia.
Liberty, a native of Gray, amassed his wealth as a developer in Maine, growing his empire to sporting pursuits as a previous owner of Oxford Plains Speedway and New England rights to T.G.I. Fridays, according to a 1989 Yankee magazine profile that dubbed him “Donald Trump with a Maine accent.”
His later career has been defined by founding the mobile payment startup Mozido, based in Austin, Texas.