Attorney Steve Bachar, accused last year of securities fraud and theft and spending millions of stolen dollars in part on a country club mansion and exotic vacations during the pandemic, has been granted a public defender.
On Thursday, Denver County Court Judge Frances Simonet asked whether Bachar had qualified to be represented by a public defender, and he replied that he had. He was required to give financial statements to the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender.
“I’ve got a note from the public defender’s office saying I was qualified,” Bachar, appearing virtually, said in court. “I was informed that I did (qualify), you honor.”
Johnna Lee Stuart was appointed as Bachar’s public defender.
Bachar originally indicated he planned to hire a private attorney, but he requested a public defender last month. He declined to speak with BusinessDen at that time.
Bachar was charged in October with the two felony counts relating to a company he established called Empowerment Capital and a failed startup he bought called Revolar.
He was taken into custody Oct. 26 and released on Oct. 28 after posting a $25,000 bond.
According to the affidavit filed with the arrest warrant, a former friend of Bachar’s became an investor and never got back his money. Bachar largely spent the money on personal expenses, according to the affidavit.
The crimes were allegedly committed in 2017 and 2018. Bachar has yet to enter a plea in the case. If convicted, the charges carry a possible prison sentence between four and 12 years and fines from $3,000 to $750,000. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 17.
Bachar also has unrelated judgments against him for more than $4 million in connection with orders he placed during the pandemic for personal protective equipment that he never paid.
Denver-based DaVita said in court documents it attempted to buy 4,000 cases of N95 masks from Bachar’s company Empowerment Health. When no masks were delivered, the Denver healthcare company canceled the contract after spending $600,000.
And a California company called Future Health Co. said it produced 3 million medical gowns that Bachar ordered and delivered to the state of Wisconsin, but that Bachar never paid for.
No criminal charges have been filed in connection with those cases. Future Health Co. has not received any money, according to the CEO.
Documents filed in Future Health’s lawsuit claim Bachar spent the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Subpoenaed bank records reveal Bachar spent $27,000 between August and September 2020 on travel to Miami and the Virgin Islands, and on wine, dining and clothes.
He spent $4,000 in August 2020 at Cherry Creek restaurant Satchel’s on 6th and $1,800 and $1,000, respectively, at Aspen’s Little Nell Hotel and Hotel Aspen.
Bachar also spent $121,000 at the Cherry Creek furniture store Coda Studio, which is owned by his wife Angela Feddersen, according to court documents. Feddersen previously told BusinessDen she has separated from Bachar.
Bachar also paid more than a million dollars to the owner of a 5,000-square-foot Country Club mansion, records show. Future Health is attempting to recover money from the landlord of that mansion.