California leavin'? Baldi gets hearing
A month after his San Francisco arrest on embezzlement charges stemming from Charlottesville accounting work, former Bel Rio owner Jim Baldi will appear in a California courtroom on Friday, February 8, for an extradition hearing.
"We're just trying to determine whether he'll be sent somewhere," explains a receptionist in the San Francisco public defender's office. The public defender assigned to Baldi, Mark Jacobs, did not return the Hook's calls by press time.
As previously reported, Baldi disappeared in July 2010 as his concerned clients increasingly questioned his money management, and police began digging. A warrant for his arrest was issued soon after his disappearance, and there was no information about his whereabouts until his January 4 arrest.
Since then, multiple sources have revealed, Baldi was living under the assumed name Dario DiSovana and working at a well-regarded Italian restaurant called Pachino Trattoria and Pizzeria on the outskirts of San Francisco's Chinatown. He spoke with an Italian accent, sources say, and claimed he was of Italian and Vietnamese descent.
According to the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department, Baldi has been housed at San Bruno #5, one of five facilities that comprise the San Francisco County jail system. Visitors are permitted only on weekends, and while inmates do have certain phone privileges, the jail does not permit phone interviews.
Should Baldi be extradited to Virginia following this week's hearing, he will likely be housed at the Charlottesville Albemarle Regional Jail, but Hook legal analyst David Heilberg says there is another possible outcome from this week's California hearing.
"Someone can be released on bail pending the outcome of the extradition process," says Heilberg, noting that because of the warrants against Baldi, and his apparent use of an assumed identity, "in all likelihood, they'll hold him without bail as a fugitive."
If Baldi is freed and comes to Charlottesville, he likely won't have a home to which he can return. On Thursday, February 7, his house at 900 Elliott Avenue will be auctioned at the Charlottesville Circuit Court. According to online records with McCabe, Weisberg and Connelly, the firm handling the foreclosure, Baldi, who paid $95,000 for the pink, two-bedroom dwelling in June 2000, owes just over $73,000. The buyer must bring $7,328.84 to the sale.This story is a part of the The Jim Baldi story special.Read more on: Jim Baldi