Hansen Helicopters CEO John Walker was remanded into custody on Monday after both a federal prosecutor and probation officer argued that he posed a flight risk. Walker was convicted Friday on more than 100 counts related to fraud, bribery, and money-laundering related to his operation of Guam-based Hansen Helicopters.
Walker faces potentially life imprisonment when sentenced on December 8th. He had been free on $1 million bail, secured by $2.5 million of residential real estate he owned on Guam, since his initial indictment in May 2018.
Defense offers of allowing Walker to remain free on his Missouri farm pending sentencing backed by additional pledged assets or arranging for Walker to wear a GPS ankle monitor were rejected by Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, who expressed concerns about “getting burned” if Walker were to flee. While out on bail, Walker made all his court appointments and actually obtained court approval to travel to Mexico to participate in off-road racing, defense attorney Mack Martin argued.
However, prosecutor Marie Miller argued that, in addition to flight risk, the overriding rationale for incarcerating Walker was the continued operation of his helicopter company, renamed Pacific.Spotters, now based in the Philippines. “As long as John Walker is not remanded, he’s going to continue to put people at risk. He has expressed no remorse and has no intention to cease his operations. He needs to be stopped.”