Judge assigns public defender to fraud suspect | AspenTimes.com

Judge assigns public defender to fraud suspect


ASPEN Prosecutors say Peter Frommer’s schemes have bilked area residents out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and now the public is paying Frommer’s legal fees.On Monday, District Judge James Boyd accepted Frommer’s application for a public defender and appointed attorney Garth McCarty. “We are willing to accept his statements to us about his income or lack thereof,” McCarty told Boyd.

Three months ago, Frommer was renting a house in Woody Creek and sending his children to Aspen Country Day School. Now, the California man needs public assistance for legal representation. Even so, he said he is paying back the many businesses and individuals he owes.”They’re still being paid back,” Frommer said, “small payments, whatever can be made.”Frommer has not paid up on the small claims case he lost a month ago involving two baby sitters, and his criminal charges are adding up.

He now faces 29 felony counts in Pitkin County – the details of which allege fraud or theft of nearly $250,000.Court documents also state that the FBI has opened an investigation into Frommer’s activities in California. He faces dozens of civil lawsuits there, in addition to 10 in Pitkin County. Reports indicate that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating fraud claims. Assistant district attorney Gail Nichols’ motion on March 26 added new felony counts, recommended an increase in bond from $27,500 to $50,000, and requested that Frommer leave his passport with the court.

McCarty, however, argued Monday that he had not even seen the motion and requested a continuance for the bond hearing. Boyd approved Nichols’ request that Frommer leave his passport with the court, and Boyd scheduled a bond hearing for April 10. Complainants range from the Hotel Jerome and the Aspen Skiing Co. to individuals and large national banks. Frommer faces four to 12 years in prison if convicted. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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