A Superior Court judge on Tuesday refused to lower bail for a man facing tax evasion charges to allow the defendant to get oft-delayed hip replacement surgery.

Theodore Thomes, 58, faces three counts of tax evasion and three counts of failing to pay taxes or file tax returns. Thomes, who used to live in Windham and now lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is accused of failing to report or pay taxes on tens of thousands of dollars he received from an elderly Windham man, for which he also faces charges of financial exploitation, said Assistant Attorney General Leanne Robbin, who heads up the Financial Crimes Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Thomes has repeatedly gotten delays in scheduling, and simply failed to show up for trial twice, on the financial exploitation charges. In November, he failed to show because he said he was scheduled for the hip surgery, the same excuse he used when he failed to show up for trial in March. That trial is now expected be held this summer.

When he finally returned to Maine in late March, he was arrested on a warrant for the original charges and bail was set at $10,000. After the tax charges were added by the Cumberland County grand jury, his bail was increased to $40,000, which his attorney, Devens Hamlen, said his client can’t raise. Thomes has been held in the Cumberland County Jail since March.

Hamlen said that without the surgery, his client – who came into the hearing Tuesday afternoon in Portland on crutches – will be in pain and won’t be able to assist in his own defense, especially since the trial is set for Courtroom 11 in the old part of the Cumberland County Courthouse.

“The chairs in Courtroom 11 are probably the most uncomfortable” in the courthouse, Hamlen said, raising the possibility that Thomes would need to lie down on a cot throughout the trial.

Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy, who appeared to have a wry smile on her face throughout much of the hearing on Hamlen’s attempt to get the bail amount reduced, wasn’t sympathetic, saying a recliner could be brought in for the defendant.

She also suggested that Thomes get the surgery scheduled before his June 12 trial and be released only for a day or two for the hip replacement operation. But Robbin pointed out that in previous instances, Thomes has said he would need up to a month to recover from the surgery, so that approach was nixed.

In the end, Kennedy said that bail will stay at $40,000, even if it means Thomes can’t get surgery.

In addition to the tax charges, Thomes faces three counts of theft by deception for his dealings with an elderly Windham neighbor who had received a large inheritance. Thomes allegedly charged the man up to $2,000 a week for running errands and taking the man to appointments and was accused of stealing a coin collection, jewelry and antique guns from the man, who was hospitalized at the time. Thomes returned most of the items, but in 2015, he was sentenced to 27 months in prison for being a felon in possession of firearms after he and his wife, Renee, sold the guns through a New Hampshire auctioneer. Renee Thomes was sentenced to 30 days in prison for illegally transferring the guns out of state.

According to his indictment, Thomes is also charged with inducing the elderly Windham man to give him a $50,000 loan, “secured” with what the state contends is a bogus promissory note and then received another $250,000 from the older man after threatening to have him declared incompetent and also saying he would sue over injuries Thomes allegedly received when the man fell on him.


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