An Orange County Superior Court Judge ordered Vincent M. Carrano to prison Thursday to begin serving the sentence he has eluded for six years--but not before one final twist to the mystery of the convicted embezzler's disappearance.
Carrano, through his lawyer, asked Judge John L. Flynn Jr. for a one week delay to allow prosecutors to determine how the fugitive allegedly cooperated with federal authorities during the years of his disappearance, some of which were apparently spent in Costa Rica.
"His lawyer asked for a one week continuance for us to find out what Mr. Carrano was or was not doing for the federal government," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Maurice L. Evans. "He mentioned something about national security, but that was the end of it."
Flynn, however, denied the request and Carrano was sent to a state corrections facility in Chino, where a decision will be made on where he will serve his sentence.
Carrano was convicted of 30 counts of conspiracy, grand theft and insurance fraud in 1980, stemming from a fake robbery he staged three years earlier at his precious metals storage firm in Santa Ana. Flynn conducted the trial.
After his conviction, Carrano posted a $100,000 appeal bond, and then disappeared from sight until this year.
In March, Carrano was arrested by a U.S. marshal in Panama. He reportedly had spent time in Costa Rica. Orange County officials took him into custody earlier this month in Alabama, where Carrano faces federal securities fraud charges.
Evans, who called Carrano a "flimflam man," said he had no idea what the former fugitive was talking about when he asked for the delay.
Thomas E. Kamph, Carrano's lawyer, said he was hired 10 days ago and noted that he had been "advised" that Carrano had cooperated in some manner with federal authorities. However, Kamph said he had been "unsuccessful in attempts to confirm through government officials exactly the nature and quality of this."