YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma man accused of defrauding several people of $750,000 of cash and cryptocurrency through a fraudulent bitcoin startup may be on the run, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
Andres Fernandez, 29 years old, was expected to appear in court today. His attorney Robert Bleich showed up, but he didn't.
Negotiations about a plea deal had been ongoing and the judge permitted Fernandez's release after posting bail.
Bleich seemed surprised that his client didn't show. He told Judge Haws that he spoke with Fernandez yesterday on the phone.
Fernandez said he was calling, according to Bleich, from Tijuana, explaining he needed to be there as his grandmother had just died.
Bleich noted he was adamant with his client. That under no circumstances would Fernandez be permitted to skip court.
The prosecutor wasn't sure if Fernandez had been granted special permission to be allowed to visit another nation or not.
Her guess was not, and while Judge Haws couldn't recount the decision he made either, he was sure he never signed any special permission allowing Fernandez to visit Mexico.
That was enough, along with the massive restitution Fernandez is responsible for, the prosecutor noted, to issue a bench warrant for Fernandez's arrest.
So far Fernandez has been charged with nine counts of fraudulent schemes and three counts of money laundering.