-- — Benito Lopez, 49, Batesville, was booked into the Dearborn County Jail, Lawrenceburg, just before 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, according to its Web site. Indiana State Excise Police had been looking for him since attempting to serve an arrest warrant Sept. 24, charging him with corrupt business influence, conspiracy to commit corrupt business influence and forgery, Class C felonies, and perjury, a Class D felony, in connection with the investigation of actions taken by employees at Acapulco Mexican restaurants in Batesville, Versailles, Lawrenceburg, Rising Sun and Aurora.
Dearborn and Ohio counties Prosecutor Aaron Negangard pointed out Oct. 17 that Lopez “did come back early from Mexico to face these charges. Even though he got arrested at his home by Batesville police, he had contacted” his attorneys, Glenn and Karen Huelskamp, Indianapolis, and was scheduled to be turned in.
At Lopez’s initial hearing in Dearborn County Circuit Court Oct. 17, Negangard advised Judge James Humphrey about the defendant’s criminal history and nature of the crimes. He suggested to the judge that a bond amount “needs to be set sufficient to insure his appearance at future hearings.”
The prosecutor also told the judge that of the $3.5 million recovered by authorities so far, almost 8 percent, $268,000 in cash, came from Lopez, most found in a safety deposit box at FCN Bank, Batesville.
A pretrial hearing was set for Nov. 16.
Later that day, Humphrey decided Lopez could be released from jail if he posted a $150,000 surety bond (10 percent or $15,000 in cash) plus $5,000 in cash only, reported Negangard’s assistant, paralegal and victims’ advocate Mary Miller.
That’s a lower amount than bonds set for two others who owned the Batesville restaurant with Lopez – Adolfo Lopez, 43, Lawrenceburg, and Abel Bustos, 50, Lafayette. Bustos and Adolfo Lopez were transported to the jail Sept. 24 and Sept. 25, respectively, each charged with three felonies: corrupt business influence, conspiracy and identity deception.