Accepts Hall’s Plea
A federal magistrate accepted former Lee County commissioner Tammy Hall’s wire fraud guilty plea after a brief hearing this afternoon.
Hall abruptly resigned last week after signing a plea agreement with federal prosecutors in which she admitted pilfering campaign donations in 2009-10 to make purchases at upscale stores including Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, and to pay the mortgage on her deeply underwater home in Cape Coral.
She’s been charged with one count of wire fraud for bank transactions in which she siphoned off $33,756.
After accepting her plea, U.S. Magistrate Douglas Frazier set a $50,000 unsecured bond for Hall, which means she won’t have to put up collateral but will be liable for the money if she doesn’t comply with the terms of her release.
Under the terms set by Frazier, she’ll have to check in with federal pre-sentencing officials for permission to travel outside the state, and must give up her passport along with a shotgun she owns.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Michelland, one of the prosecutors on her case, said that “I do understand from (Hall’s) counsel that she is seeking employment” and that she is understandably suffering from depression.
Hall smiled as she walked out of the courtroom with her attorney, Eric Padron, but said nothing in response to questions by any reporter.