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Keating Case Co-Defendant Freed After Week in Jail

Associated Press

Judy J. Wischer, indicted with Charles Keating Jr. on federal racketeering and fraud charges in the Lincoln Savings & Loan debacle, was released on $300,000 bail after a week in jail, her lawyer said Friday.

Keating and his son remained behind bars, struggling to post a combined $450,000 bond. They asked for a second bail reduction hearing, which was scheduled for Monday morning, Assistant U.S. Atty. David Sklansky said.

Attorney Donald C. Randolph said Wischer was released late Thursday and headed home to Paradise Valley, Ariz., where the younger of her two daughters turned 9 Friday.

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” said Randolph. He said prosecutors are making it tough by refusing to turn over the index to 1,500 boxes of documents in a Phoenix warehouse related to the collapse of Keating’s financial empire, which included the biggest thrift failure in history.

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“The government has sort of set the tone for the case, which is that they are going to hold their cards very close to their vests,” Randolph said.

Wischer, 43, was the president of Keating’s American Continental Corp., which owned Irvine-based Lincoln Savings & Loan. Her mother and an unidentified business associate pledged property to cover her $300,000 bail, Randolph said.

Keating, 68, and his son Charles Keating III, 36, remained in custody, held in the same cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center downtown.

Keating, a central symbol of the nation’s savings and loan debacle, is being held on $300,000 bail, and his son on $150,000. Family members had lined up equity in property they said was worth about $275,000 but were struggling to come up with the additional $175,000.

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“We’re still working on it,” said Keating’s lawyer, Stephen C. Neal.


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