Helaman Hansen pleaded not guilty Friday in Sacramento federal court to charges that he extracted big fees from undocumented immigrants on false promises to help them gain permanent status by arranging for American citizens to adopt them.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Delaney ordered Hansen back to jail pending a further hearing Wednesday on bail.
Hansen, 63, of Elk Grove was arrested Thursday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney André Espinosa asked that Hansen be held without bail, describing him to Delaney as “a serious flight risk” with connections to Australia and Fiji. Espinosa also noted that Hansen’s callous exploitation of immigrants’ hopes for a life in America made him a lot of money, which he conceivably could draw on to skip the country.
Espinosa further reported that Hansen has used intimidating tactics to discourage victims from cooperating with the government in its ongoing investigation of him, which makes him a danger to the community.
Denny Walsh: 916-321-1189