Trial date to be set at next court meeting for Vero Beach’s Ira Hatch

VERO BEACH — The grand theft and money laundering trial against Ira Hatch is expected to be scheduled during a court hearing in late November. At that time, Circuit Judge Robert Hawley expects to hear from the State Attorney’s Office the dates Hatch is suspected of misappropriating escrow funds placed in his company’s care.

The court hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 29, during which the judge will review the case and determine when the case should go to trial. Hatch has been sitting in the Indian River County jail since January 2008 on more than $3 million bond. He faces 57 felony charges that include 29 counts of third degree grand theft, 12 counts of second degree grand theft, 11 counts of grand theft, three counts of money laundering between $20,000 and $200,000, and one count each of operating as a money transmitter and felony racketeering, according to his arrest report.

In all, Hatch is accused of misusing $4.5 million of his clients’ money they had entrusted to his company, Coastal Escrow, which is no longer in operation.

Hatch’s attorney Greg Eisenmenger asked Judge Hawley this week to dismiss the case against Hatch. The judge instead chose to set a deadline for the State Attorney’s Office to provide the dates Hatch is said to have bilked his clients along with other materials so that the defense can better prepare its case.

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