CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A millionaire New York real estate executive accused of trying to flee to Venezuela while charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving has been ordered held without bail.

Sean Ludwick appeared before a judge Tuesday in Central Islip on Long Island.

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Ludwick, a managing partner and founder of Blackhouse Development, previously pleaded not guilty in connection with the August death of his passenger in the town of Southampton. He is accused of removing the victim’s body from the car and fleeing the scene.

Prosecutors said last week he had made inquiries while visiting Puerto Rico about buying a vessel capable of taking him to Venezuela.

“It was only because of the intervention at our request of the United States Marshals service that he was arrested,” Suffolk District Attorney Tom Spota told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “Otherwise, he would be on the sailboat right now.”

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Spota said that Ludwick wired $400,000 to Puerto Rico to buy a boat to sail to the South American country.

“He clearly intended to flee, there’s no question about it,” Spota said.

Ludwick’s attorney told WCBS 880 that his client never intended to leave the U.S.

Ludwick faces up to 32 years in prison if convicted.

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