Baldwin released on bail Friday

Gary Baldwin is out of Oahu Community Correctional Center on $274,000 bond, with several thousand dollars raised on Kaua’i for his cause.

Clayton Frank, OCCC warden, confirmed Monday that Baldwin made bail Friday afternoon, through A-1 Bail Bonds. That company won’t discuss its cases, calling them “confidential.”

But a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office of the City and County of Honolulu said a bail bond company’s standard, non-refundable fee for services is 10 percent of the bail amount, or nearly $30,000 of Baldwin’s $274,000 bail.

“Somebody put $27,400 up,” Fulton said yesterday.

Baldwin was arrested last week at a Waipake home by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and Kaua’i Police Department officers, on the federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

He has agreed to be extradited to Phoenix, Arizona to face charges of felony theft and fraud in Maricopa County. According to FBI information, Baldwin is accused of defrauding a Phoenix-area eye surgeon out of over $300,000 in a private jet sale gone bad.

During an extradition hearing last week, state First Circuit Court Judge Reynaldo Graulty ordered Baldwin to remain on O’ahu if he raised bail, and to contact Honolulu Police Department detectives on a daily basis.

The extradition hearing likely means the end of involvement by Honolulu prosecutors, Fulton said. “We’re out of it, probably forever.”

The next step is for the governor of Arizona to sign an extradition order, which is addressed to Hawai’i Gov. Ben Cayetano for his signature. When the paperwork reaches Hawai’i, the state attorney general handles the matter.

Once Cayetano signs the order, Arizona officials will make arrangements to fly to Hawai’i to take Baldwin back to answer charges there.

The process is expected to take around a month, Fulton said earlier.

Meanwhile, Baldwin’s lawyer is questioning whether or not Baldwin changed his birthdate and Social Security number while living on Kaua’i. During the extradition hearing, prosecutors claimed they had documents indicating two different birthdates and two different Social Security numbers for Baldwin, but attorney Philip Lowenthal was adamant yesterday that Baldwin did not alter either number.

The federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution is routinely used by the FBI to gain jurisdiction where alleged suspects have crossed state lines, said Kevin Rickett, with the Honolulu FBI office.

It is also routine for the FBI to drop flight charges and allow suspects to be tried on the original charges, Rickett said. But, any move to drop the federal flight charges would have to be initiated by the Phoenix FBI and U.S. attorney offices, he added.

The flight charge allows the FBI to gain jurisdiction, and dropping it allows the state, county or city jurisdiction to resume control, he said.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at or 245-3681 (ext. 224).


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