Fears that her German husband may jump bail and abscond have prompted a Florida woman to ask to be relieved of responsibility for his bond, sending him back to jail this week.
Michael Olaf Schütt (28), a German national with an allegedly patchy criminal record who is accused of running an e-processing company involved in illegal internet gambling transactions (see previous InfoPowa reports) has been helping federal authorities, but was returned to custody this week because his estranged wife feared he’d flee the country, reports the Naples Daily News.
28-year-old Jennifer Sherman married Schütt in January after knowing him for less than a year, and according to federal court records has now “indicated she was in fear, was afraid her husband was going to flee, and wished to be removed from the defendant’s bond."
Her nervousness is perhaps understandable; under the terms of the bond, Sherman would have to cough up $100 000 if her husband took flight before the allegations against him have been resolved.
A Fort Myers court was told by Assistant U.S. Attorney Yolande Viacava of Sherman's reservations and the failure of the marriage, leading to a request that Schütt be returned to detention.
Defence attorney James Felman conceded Schütt’s marriage has “suffered a fatal parting of the ways,” but asked that the German be allowed to remain free due to his “substantial and exemplary” assistance to federal investigators.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell ordered Schütt held in the Lee County jail, saying: “The defendant has no employment ties, no familiar ties, is not a U.S. citizen and sought information to obtain a pilot’s license.”
Schütt will face sentence on November 8, after pleading guilty in March this year to operating an unlicensed money transmitting business - a lesser charge than the original accusation of money laundering and a deal conditional on his cooperation with the authorities.
The Naples Daily News reports that Schütt was arrested in February after Florida bank employees became suspicious of the millions of dollars moving through his bank accounts, and customers were noted cashing checks they said were Internet Poker gambling winnings.
Federal agents seized $2.47 million from a number of bank accounts, $10,000 cash found in Schütt’s home, cars and jewelry.
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