April 23, 2018
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Hurricane Irma delays ex-developer’s prison report date

Michael Liberty
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Updated:

A former Maine real estate developer convicted of making tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign donations was granted one more week of freedom Tuesday to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Michael A. Liberty, 56, of Orlando, Florida, had been ordered to report to federal prison at 2 p.m. Friday to begin serving his four-month sentence imposed on Aug. 9 in federal court in Portland.

But U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby on Tuesday granted a motion to delay Liberty’s report date until Sep. 15 “to enable Mr. Liberty to secure his home and protect his family.”

The motion cited the fact that Florida Gov. Rick Scott had declared a state of emergency in the Sunshine State and urged people to prepare for the hurricane, which on Wednesday was expected to be a Category 5 storm.

Current weather models have Irma hitting the east coast of Florida on Sunday.

The U.S. attorney’s office took no position on the rescheduling of Liberty’s prison report date.

The prison where Liberty was due to report is not included in court documents.

Liberty, who once was called “Donald Trump with a Maine accent” was sentenced last month to four months in prison and ordered to a $100,000 fine. He waived indictment and pleaded guilty in November to making $22,500 in illegal campaign contributions that benefited Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

The real estate, franchising and software mogul covered up his total donations by splitting the contributions up into nine parts over about two weeks in May 2011, and making the gifts under the names of employees, family members and associates, according to court documents.

 


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