A federal magistrate yesterday denied bail to Alan Abrahams, the former president of an allegedly fraudulent commodity options firms who is charged with lying to a federal grand jury here and is wanted on criminal and civil charges in at least three other states.
Lawrence Cohen, magistrate of the first district in Boston, sided with government arguments that "the only bail to insure his (Abrahams) appearance at the trial is no bail whatsoever."
In issuing his decision, Magistrate Cohen said Abraham's "past records show that, if given the opportunity, he would flee." Abrahams - wearing a conservative blue business suit, his tan beginning to fade and his bleached hair starting to grow out to its natural brown - is charged with one count of lying to a grand jury about his name, age and birth place.
Abrahams has gained notoriety for developing what federal officials call one of the most elaborate sucessful frauds in history.
Surrounded by federal marshalls following his arrest in Tarpon Springs, Fla., on Jan. 25 for allegedly jumping bail in Boston, Abrahams issued only two words at the public court session, "Not guilty"
His battery of attorneys contended he had not escaped Florida - an escapade that sent federal and state authorities scrambling around the country trying to find him - but that he merely "took a vacation."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Collera called the argument "nonsense."
Abrahams, 52, has nearly a dozen aliases, including James Carr, the name he used as president of the Boston-based Lloyd, Carr commodity options firm charged with fraudulent sales practices that netted the company more than $40 million over the past 2 years in 11 states.
Federal authorities discovered the man they knew as James Carr, who had posted $100,000 bail and fled to Florida, was really Alan Abrahams, a prison escapes with a list of arrests and criminal activites spanning 22 years. His defense attorneys, however, asserted that Abrahams was not charged with any violent crimes and, in an appeal to the judge, noted that Abrahams was in the Navy for three years, is the father of three children and supports his elderly mother who is "partially incapacitated and lives in New York."
"In effect, he really is a human being," said attorney Harvey Brower. "Not just a subject of news stories about 'allegedly fraudulent' deals, and I emphasize allegedly."
Abraham is scheduled to be flown to New York today under heavy federal guard for further hearings on a federal parole violation charge. He was ordered held without bail by a federal judge in New York two weeks ago.
Defense attorney William Aaronwald told the Judge that Abrahams had not surrendered to federal authorities while in Florida because he was unaware that bail had been revoked in Boston.
"One also has to look at his state of mind," Aaronwald said. "Perhaps he was thinking over the adivice of his attorneys, perhaps he was confused but he stayed right where he was in the motel. He wasn't fleeing."
"Was he also confused when he escaped from prison in New Jersey," the judged asked, referring to his escape from a prison farm where he was serving four to six years for passing a bad check.
Former Lloyd Carr salesman Jerry Wexler, who has testfied against Abrahams, noted that the handsome, blue-eyed options dealer "doesn't have the twinkle in his eye anymore."