State regulators charged that a Washington state man used 13 fake identities to scam more than $1.4 million from investors.
Bing Long Yee, 66, allegedly took the money from an elderly Hawaii woman and her friends, promising to invest it in real estate and other business ventures. But the state said that Yee wound up spending much of the money at Las Vegas casinos.
"In reality there was no business, all he was doing was just gambling in Las Vegas and just receiving income from her for over 20 years," said Hawaii Securities Commissioner Tung Chan.
"There was an elaborate scheme that extended over a number of years."
The state said Yee disguised himself as a surgeon, a retired Marine, a lawyer and even a jade importer to keep the scheme going.
"He pretended to be a happy satisfied investor when he talked to her on the phone. He pretended to be an attorney who helped manage the business," she said.
"He pretended to be a person who was putting property to the business venture."
The Better Business Bureau says alleged scams like this are all too common in Hawaii.
"Unfortunately, seniors are a very trusting segment of our society," said Gregory Dunn, CEO of the Hawaii Better Business Bureau.
"A lot of times they are at home alone, they are ripe for financial fraud."
There are no criminal charges but Yee faces fines of up to $150,000 plus restitution. He was not available for comment.