November 24, 2017
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Hurricane cleanup gets ex-Maine developer another prison reprieve

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
BDN file photo | BDN
BDN file photo | BDN
Michael Liberty

The former Maine real estate developer convicted of making illegal campaign contributions was granted a second reprieve Tuesday when a federal judge put off his prison report date until Friday, Sept. 22, due to Hurricane Irma.

Michael A. Liberty, 56, of Orlando, Florida, had been ordered to report to federal prison at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, to begin serving his four-month sentence imposed on Aug. 9 in federal court in Portland.

Last week, U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby granted a motion to delay Liberty’s report date until Friday “to enable Mr. Liberty to secure his home and protect his family” as Hurricane Irma bore down on Florida.

On Tuesday, Hornby granted, over federal prosecutors’ objections, what he said would be the last extension so that Liberty could clean up fallen trees and debris due to the storm.

Liberty was to report Friday to the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, a medium security facility with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp and a detention center, according to a motion filed by his attorney, Richard Zack of Philadelphia.

Once called “Donald Trump with a Maine accent,” Liberty was sentenced last month to four months in prison and ordered to pay 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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