Click here for a holiday treat, every day from PIX11

Howard’s safe case goes to court

We’ve been telling you about the odd case of Lacka Safe for about 6 months now.

Company owner Mak Lacka is accused of theft by deception for taking thousands from customers and not delivering safes. A couple of months ago he mysteriously packed up and left his Hackensack headquarters to set up shop in Elmwood Park.

The criminal charges were in the hands of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. But the case has been kicked back to Hackensack Municipal Court.

Mak Lacka had an appearance scheduled for Wednesday. But he was a no-show.

Attorney Ciro Spina, who works for the firm representing some victims of Lacka Safe, said Lacka apparently entered a not guilty plea by mail ... as New Jersey state law permits.

So what’s next?

The next court date will be scheduled.

There could be some kind of plea deal or a trial. But the head of Spina’s firm, Jef Henninger, believes this could well wind up with Mak Lacka just getting a slap on the wrist.

And what would that mean for the victims receiving restitution? We don’t know but we’re going to stay on this.