A federal judge has once again ruled that a convicted Utah real estate fraudster won’t be let out of prison, even though Rick Koerber apparently has the coronavirus.
Koerber’s attorneys asked a month ago that Koerber be allowed to leave a California federal prison so he could serve his 14-year sentence at home in rural Utah, saying he is more at risk to contract COVID-19 because of underlying health issues.
U.S. District Court Judge Fredric Block denied that request. Koerber’s attorneys renewed their motion for his release April 29, arguing that COVID-19 has continued to spread at Terminal Island, the facility where Koerber is currently housed.
His attorneys asked that he be let out, even temporarily, to keep him safe from the virus.
“To be clear, Rick does not seek a windfall in the form of home confinement for the duration of his sentence,” wrote attorney Dick Baldwin. “He seeks protection from the risk that his sentence could become a death sentence.”
But apparently, it was too late. In a brief decision denying the motion Tuesday, the judge wrote that Koerber already has the coronavirus.
“Koerber contracted COVID-19, but did not experience any complications,” the ruling reads. “There is no evidence that a recurrence of the disease would be any more serious (even in the unlikely event he can and does contract it again).”
Koerber in October was sentenced to spend 14 years in prison for fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.