44-month sentence for Kauai Ponzi scheme

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)

A Kauai fugitive will serve 44 months in prison for bilking more than $1 million from several investors.

Peter Heckmann -- who fled to Bali in 2007 to avoid prosecution -- must also pay $1.6 million in restitution to his victims and serve three years of supervised release.

"In this case, the defendant didn't just steal from the victims in Kauai," said FBI spokesman Tom Simon.

"He stole the opportunity to have swift justice because he decided to become a fugitive in Bali."

Heckmann appeared in court in shackles and white jump suit and apologized for his actions.

"I did lie, cheat and steal from everybody I came across," he said.

"I'm truly ashamed of my criminal behavior."

Heckmann's attorney Peter Wolff asked for a lesser sentence due to Heckmann's health. In recent months, Heckmann has suffered heart problems and had to have a stent inserted to treat a blocked artery.

But Federal Judge Helen Gillmor rejected the request, saying the crimes he committed were "as serous a crime as dealing drugs."

Heckmann was initially indicted by a federal grand jury in 2007 but fled to Bali where he operating a recording studio. He later surrendered to the FBI earlier this year.

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