By: Seaborn Larson
Hatzenbeller received a six-year deferred sentence on Monday after pleading nolo contendre to one count of fraudulent securities practices. The sentence was congruent with the plea agreement he signed with prosecutors from the Montana State Auditor’s office in late June, in which he agreed to pay restitution totaling more than $1.7 million and go under probationary conditions for six years.
In return for his plea, in which he does not plead guilty outright but believes he would be convicted if the case went to trial, prosecutors agreed to drop four additional fraudulent securities-related charges, all felonies.
Hatzenbeller was charged in 2016 with the fraudulent securities charges after people, such as Hall, who had invested in Hatzenbeller’s Shoot the Moon restaurant group reported to the state auditor’s office that their investments had evaporated with the company’s bankruptcy in October 2015.
In the plea deal, Hatzenbeller “agrees that he has the ability to pay the monetary obligations,” referring to the $1.7 million owed to the 13 victims, many of whom are retired.
Read more at the Great Falls Tribune