Allegations swirl about Joseph A. Hoffman, El Dorado judge candidate
Carlos Alcala, Sac Bee, May 11, 2012The case of a fugitive jailed in Sacramento on federal fraud charges this week may have ramifications in the June 5 race for El Dorado Superior Court judge.
Daniel Chartraw, now held without bail on the fraud charges, was once represented by candidate Joseph A. Hoffman in another matter, and some observers question whether Hoffman acted properly on Chartraw's behalf.
An FBI affidavit in support of the criminal complaint lays out a complex series of events in which Chartraw got $1.1 million from three people – identified only by initials – based on mining operations that he did not own or that didn't exist.
In one case, the FBI affidavit indicates, he told two people he needed emergency loans of $100,000 to make payments on mining equipment, but used the money to buy a Cadillac Escalade.
The money went through a trust account managed by Hoffman, the affidavit says.
In most cases, the affidavit uses the initials J.H. for Chartraw's attorney, but in one spot it uses Hoffman's name.
That does not suggest Hoffman did anything wrong, said McGregor Scott, a former U.S. attorney who has endorsed Hoffman in the election.