The motion by Michael Hild, former CEO of defunct reverse mortgage lender Live Well Financial, for an acquittal or new proceeding in his bond fraud trial has been denied, according to an order from the presiding judge. Hild is now slated to be sentenced in January 2023.
Hild, who in April 2021 was found guilty of playing a role in a fraud scheme that artificially inflated the value of the former lender’s bonds, argued in the motion that he did not receive adequate counsel by his former attorney, Benjamin Dusing, related to a series of legal difficulties and disputes.
Shortly after the verdict was handed down, Hild enlisted the services of a new attorney with a specialty in the appeals process, who requested a new trial based on arguments of the sufficiency of trial evidence.
However, Judge Ronnie Abrams denied the motions for acquittal and a new trial in a 64-page order released on Wednesday morning. Judge Abrams noted in the order that the facts as presented by Hild’s team did not indicate either that Hild’s trial representation was deficient, nor that a different result would’ve been reached based on the defense’s sufficiency of evidence argument.
“[T]he Court concludes that Dusing’s representation of Hild at trial was not constitutionally deficient,” Abrams wrote.
Hild is now scheduled to be sentenced on January 27, 2023. Hild’s attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.
In April 2021, the jury in the case determined that Hild participated in an effort to fraudulently inflate the value of the company’s bonds by approximately $200 million in order to allow it to borrow more money.
The government alleged that this allowed Hild to personally profit off of the act by increasing his own compensation. Hild’s compensation went from approximately $1.4 million in 2015 to approximately $5 million in 2016, reaching approximately $9.7 million in 2017 and over $8 million in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).