Video hearing date already set despite Medicaid fraud suspect not being in custody at this time
According to newly updated court records, accused felon and current fugitive from justice Anthony Christopher has not only secured legal counsel -- the high powered and well connected Patrick J. Beneca of Little Rock-- but a video arraignment hearing on March 19th at at 8:30am has already been set before Christopher has been taken into custody.
Thse court records detailing the can be found HERE.
The record also indicates that Beneca, Christopher's attorney, requested a "setting with Judge Gruber" on February 5 and eight days later the listing for a video arrangement was entered into the court records.
The same record shows that Christopher still has a warrant out for his arrest.
An anonymous northwest Arkansas attorney said on Monday that just about every case he had dealt with which involved a video arrangement was because 1) the defendant was too ill to actually come to court or 2) the defendant would be in danger because of a court appearance.
"I don't see either of those issues being in play here," the attorney said. " This looks like to me a deal was cut where the defendant can turn himself in right before the video arrangement, be booked, and then released almost immediately on bail."
"I wouldn't be surprised if a bail amount has already been set," said the attorney.
The arrest warrant for Christopher does carry a "do not cite" notation which normally means bail has to be set before a judge.
Anthony Christopher has been charged with three counts of Financial or Non-Financial Identity fraud - all Class D felonies. He has also been charged with one Class A felony for Medicaid Fraud.
According to our research, this isn't Christopher's first time to be accused of fraudulent activities. There has been a pattern of matters brought before the court involving fraud before.
In early 2018, Christopher was sued by his former business partner, Jennifer Powers for:
Breach of Fiduciary Duty Owed to Company
Breach of Duty Owed to Plantiff
Breach of Contract
Tort of Deceit
Fayettevile atttorney Tom Stockland, who represents LaDonna Humprhey, the woman who Christopher sued citing libel and slander in his complaint after he said she made untrue allegations about his alleged fraudulent Medicaid activities, also represented Powers in her case against Christoper.
"Anthony Christopher befriended this woman after she went through a divorce, and was able to get her to give him a large amount of money in what eventually became an Airbnd rental property as well as $8000 for lot in Cave Springs which was never purchased," said Stockland. "We were able to prove in court that he falsified at least one document saying Ms. Powers was at a 'corporation meeting' when she was actually out of town on the day in question."
"Christopher settled that case and Ms. Powers was made whole," said Stockland.
We will continue to update this story as it develops, including more tomorrow about Christopher's activities in Oklahoma and his current domestic situation.