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Hearing postponed as Michael Lyon faces new felony eavesdropping charges

Former real estate mogul Michael Lyon, shown at his arraignment in 2010, returned to Sacramento Superior Court on Monday facing 16 felony counts. His hearing was postponed until May 18.
Former real estate mogul Michael Lyon, shown at his arraignment in 2010, returned to Sacramento Superior Court on Monday facing 16 felony counts. His hearing was postponed until May 18. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Disgraced Sacramento real estate mogul Michael Lyon was back in court Monday wearing a suit and tie, having shed his orange jumpsuit after being released from jail last month.

While Lyon looked more like the prominent businessman he once was – instead of the disheveled figure seen in jail booking photos – his legal ordeal is far from over. His hearing was postponed to May 18 in Sacramento Superior Court on 16 felony counts of electronic eavesdropping that expose him to potentially more time behind bars.

When he was released April 1, Lyon, 59, the former chief executive officer of Lyon Real Estate, had served six months for violating the terms of a plea agreement his lawyer worked out with the District Attorney’s Office in 2011. During that arrest last year, prosecutors allege, investigators discovered methamphetamine and other drugs in his home and seized electronic equipment that they analyzed in preparing the latest eavesdropping charges.

The new case follows a similar set of charges brought against Lyon in 2010, in which he was accused of secretly videotaping his interactions with prostitutes and making surreptitious recordings of friends and employees in bathrooms and elsewhere. He pleaded guilty in March 2011 and served several months in the Sacramento County jail and under house arrest at his Carmichael home.

Prosecutors now allege that he continued the illicit recordings, despite repeated warnings from the court that he stop. The new complaint alleges that the 16 counts took place on 14 separate dates with eight different unnamed victims between Jan. 15, 2014, and Sept. 27, 2014.

Lyon has pleaded not guilty.

When he was released last month, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian told him he could have “no cameras of any kind” in his possession, including a cellphone camera.

Call The Bee’s Marjie Lundstrom, (916) 321-1055.

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