WAIPIO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Honolulu scoured the Waipio and Mililani communities Thursday for a couple who skipped out on sentencing in July in a mortgage fraud case. Multiple families lost their homes in the scam.
Investigators say John and Julieanne Dimitrion have expensive tastes in cars, clothing, jewelry and designer bags. With their lucrative scheme over, and decades of federal prison facing them, the two vanished.
"We're with the F-B-I," Nick Baron, FBI agent, told a store clerk. "We're trying to hunt down some fugitives that are in the area."
FBI agents Nick Baron and Joe Fangon are leaving no stone unturned, as they search for an elusive couple who ruined the lives of several Hawaii families.
"These are people without consciences who don't care about anything other than themselves and enriching their own pockets," Tom Simon, FBI special agent, said.
John and Julieanne Dimitrion ran a mortgage scam. They convinced people who were falling behind on their mortgages that their company could help them keep their homes.
"Instead what they did was they ran an elaborate scheme involving straw buyers and mortgage companies and false documents to cheat these people out of their homes and actually take their homes from them," Simon said. "Several Hawaii families were out of the streets as a result of the Dimitrions' action."
Investigators say the couple did it all to fund a lavish lifestyle.
After pleading guilty at US District Court in Honolulu in April 2009, the white-collar criminals, who were facing decades in prison, were allowed to remain free pending sentencing.
"That's not unusual," Simon said. "What's unusual is that they decided to not honor the trust that the judge put in them and they chose to become fugitives."
"Do you mind if we give you these to put up?" Baron asked while showing a restaurant owner his wanted fliers.
The FBI says the Dimitrions may have connections in Washington DC and on the west coast of the mainland, but it's intensifying the manhunt on Oahu because there's no record of them leaving.
Agents Baron and Fangon hope the public can help bring the fugitive couple to justice.
"Part of the community is to make sure that we help each other out and not steal from each other," Simon said. "When there is someone in the community who violates that trust, we hope that we'll all rally together to catch them and make sure they'll get their day in court."
The couple's photos will soon be shown on electronic billboards on the mainland.
The FBI is offering a reward. If you know where the Dimitrions are, call 566-4300.