Suspected con man accused of stealing $130K from Hawaii banks

Suspected con man accused of stealing $130K from Hawaii banks
Chris Van Marter
Chris Van Marter

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A suspected con man, who's already facing criminal charges in San Diego, was indicted by an Oahu grand jury on felony theft charges Tuesday.

Honolulu prosecutors say Tyler Adams, 37, managed to defraud two Hawaii banks out of $130,000. He allegedly pulled off a check kiting scheme and obtained large sums of money by convincing bank officials that he was a legitimate businessman.

Using several aliases and even cosmetic surgery, prosecutors say the Pennsylvania native, born as Kevin Schoolcraft, managed to craft a number of money-making schemes.

"That gives you an indication of how skillful he is, of the amount of planning and premeditation that he puts into his schemes," deputy prosecutor Chris Van Marter said.

After arriving in Hawaii in 2007, prosecutors say Adams went to the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs web site, created five fictitious businesses, and opened accounts at Bank of Hawaii and American Savings Bank.

"They all appear to be legitimate and the banks treated him very well," Van Marter said.

Adams allegedly made huge deposits using fake checks and convinced bank officials to make those funds available to him immediately. He's accused of stealing about $130,000.

"He was able to scam a number of very experienced bank officials with his sophistication, his education," Van Marter said. "He's very articulate."

In Hawaii alone, he had multiple ID cards bearing different names.

He was recently arrested in California, where he allegedly used fraudulent mortgage loan documents to acquire five condominium units.

"(He) rented out the condominiums and collected rents, while making little if any mortgage payments, and basically causing a loss of more than $3 million to the mortgage lenders," Van Marter said.

Prosecutors call Adams a serious flight risk. His bail in the California case is set at $3 million.

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