U.S. District Judge William Alsup did not rule on the change-of-venue request during Tuesday's hearing, which was conducted by telephone and lasted roughly an hour. Alsup said at the conclusion of the hearing that he did not know when he would issue an order on the question.
Brockman, 79, was indicted in October on 39 counts, including tax evasion, wire fraud and evidence tampering, for what prosecutors allege was an elaborate offshore scheme over two decades to evade taxes on $2 billion in income. He stepped down in November from privately held Reynolds, and was succeeded as CEO by Tommy Barras, who in June was promoted to president and COO.
Tuesday's hearing did not materially address a separate motion Brockman's lawyers filed last week seeking a competency hearing to determine whether Brockman will be able to assist in his defense against the government's case, though his health is a factor in the request to move the case to Texas.
Defense attorneys have said Brockman has survived two rounds of cancer and has a heart condition, and they recently provided more details about a diagnosis indicative of Parkinson's disease or Lewy body dementia that is progressive and has made it difficult for Brockman to process and retain information.
The request for a competency hearing is scheduled to be discussed at a court hearing in January.
If the entire case is not transferred to Texas, defense attorney Jason Varnado asked Alsup to dismiss charges that Brockman failed to file required foreign bank account reports for several years starting in 2013, citing improper venue in California. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Pitman said Tuesday that if Alsup agrees with the defense's argument, prosecutors would request that those counts be moved separately from the entire case to Texas.