Would-Be Tamarack Swindler Sentenced to 17 Years-Plus in Prison


Michael Hutcheson in November 2010, announcing his plan to buy Tamarack.
  • George Prentice
  • Michael Hutcheson in November 2010, announcing his plan to buy Tamarack.

An Eagle man was sentenced to 17 and-a-half years in prison Wednesday for an elaborate swindling scheme where he raised retirement accounts in his would-be attempt to takeover the Tamarack Resort.

In November 2010, Michael Hutcheson of Eagle stood before the media saying he had a plan to buy the Tamarack ski resort for $40 million. When Boise Weekly tried to ask him about the details of his plan, he said he wouldn't take any questions.

Prosecutors said Hutcheson stole funds to, among other things, purchase an interest in the Tamarack Resort's golf course, renovate his Eagle home and purchase personal vehicles. During his federal court trial, prosecutors showed how Hutcheson took nearly $5 million from two pension accounts.

And on Wednesday, Hutcheson stood before U.S. District Judge William Fremming Nelsen who sentenced the businessman to 210 months behind bars, beginning immediately. Nielsen also ordered Hutcheson to serve three years of supervised release and pay $5,307,688 in restitution to the victims.

“Mr. Hutcheson placed his own personal interests and greed above the clients’ whose retirement interests he pledged to safeguard," said U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson. "This office will continue to take pension fraud very seriously and hold accountable those who seek personal gain from others’ hard work through fraud and deceit."

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A federal jury deliberated about three hours in April before finding Hutcheson guilty of 17 counts of felony wire fraud.