Waikiki senior accused of welfare fraud - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Waikiki senior accused of welfare fraud

Vaughn Sherwood Vaughn Sherwood
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A Waikiki Senior is accused of taking out 200-thousand in fraudulent government housing and welfare benefits, while parading around in a fancy car and boat.

According to the FBI, 66 year old Vaughn Sherwood is the mastermind in a sophisticated identity theft scheme.

They say he used four different names to bilk programs like section 8 housing out of 100-hundred thousand dollars -- and take out tens of thousands more in bogus welfare, food stamp, and student loan benefits.

They said he abused the aid while living in a Kalakaua Avenue apartment, driving a Mercedes and hiding a nearly 4-hundred thousand inheritance from his parents.

"He inherited well over 6-figures from his parents at the same time he was collecting welfare benefits from the State of Hawaii" says FBI Special Agent Tom Simon. "The idea that Vaughn Sherwood to the tune of 200 thousand obtained benefits for section 8, welfare, food stamps, student loans using false identities all while living in a Waikiki apartment, driving a mercedes and owning a yacht, is just a little shocking to the conscience."

An audit by the Department of Human Services found Sherwood received welfare cash payments of more than 65 hundred, another 5800 in food stamps, and medical benefits totaling 24-thousand.

The agency caught on when they noticed checks going to different names at the same address, 4348 Waialae Avenue. We went there and found it's really a UPS Store. The apartment number given "675" is the number of the box that Sherwood rented.

According to Simon, "DHS received a tip that this guy was doing welfare fraud so they launched an investigation. We received a tip that he was committing student loan fraud. At some point, we discovered we were both investigating the same guy so we decided to join forces."

A search warrant at Sherwood's Kalakaua Avenue apartment turned up evidence of his elaborate identity theft operation as well as four handguns and two rifles.

The convicted felon faces a maximum ten years for firearms possession, and another ten for the fraud case.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 31st.


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