LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Because the lead prosecutor on the case was at a training seminar, the federal sentencing hearing for a Lufkin man who drove his multi-million dollar into a lagoon and claiming it on his insurance has been postponed.
Lead prosecutor Christopher Tortorice was unable to attend the sentencing hearing Tuesday morning because he was attending a training seminar.
US District Judge Michael Schneider wasn't happy with having to postpone the hearing.
"We'll have to schedule this around people's prior plans," Schneider said.
When asked for comment, defense attorney Buck Files Jr. said, "It's still an active case. Neither I nor my client can say anything right now."
According to federal court records, Andy House, 39, entered a guilty plea in the case in August of 2014. His guilty plea came just 12 days after a federal wire mail fraud charge was filed on him. He faces up to 20 years in a federal prison.
House purchased a 2006 Bugatti Veyron for $1 million and had it insured for $2.2 million, according to information presented in court. On Nov. 11, 2009, House drove the vehicle into the Gulf Bay near La Marque, Texas, and upon exiting the Bugatti, left the motor running, resulting in the engine taking on large amounts of salt water which destroyed the vehicle.
House reported to first responders he was reaching for his cell phone when he swerved and accidentally drove into the bay. On Nov. 12, 2009, House called the insurance company and filed a $2.2 million claim on the Bugatti. However, House did not know that another motorist had videoed the accident, including the moment House drove the vehicle into the water, and then posted the video to YouTube.
Federal court documents appeared to have shown House had settled with Philadelphia Indemnity in October 2012.