A Punahou graduate facing dozens of felony charges is on the run and now the FBI and U.S. Marshals are on the look-out for the woman accused of making millions in an elaborate real estate scam.
48-year-old Jennifer McTigue has been out on bond awaiting federal trial for the last year and a half, but officials say she failed to appear for a hearing on June 30. According to the FBI, she has since turned off her phone and hasn't checked in with anyone.
"She is gone. She has fled, but the good news is that we believe she remains here on O'ahu. We've checked with all the airlines who have combed their flight manifest and we have no indication of her leaving O'ahu -- that said you don't have to be James Bond to leave Hawai'i. It's entirely possible that she might have left under other means," said FBI agent and spokesperson Tom Simon.
McTigue and two other alleged co-conspirators were indicted in January of 2014 on 45 counts -- including mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The three are accused of acquiring properties from distressed homeowners and falsifying agreements with them to appear as if their loans had been paid off. Prosecutors say they then sold the properties, raking in more than $3 million. Both Marc Melton and Sakara Blackwell have since pled guilty and have agreed to testify against McTigue at her trial.
"We believe the evidence in this trial will show that she orchestrated a massive mult-million dollar fraud to rip off homeowners, banks and the title owners in Hawai'i. We want to have that opportunity and prove that in court, instead she believes the rules don't apply to her," said Simon.
McTigue has chosen to represent herself and has been using the defense that federal courts don't have jurisdiction over her.
"She is a sovereign citizen different than the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement in that she believes in none of the laws of the U.S. She is the kingdom of one -- Jennifer McTigue," Simon explained.
Officials are concerned others within the anti-government extremist group may be helping McTigue.
"There's an underground railroad of Sovereign Citizens on the U.S. mainland who've been known to spirit people away from the arms of justice and my fear is that Jennifer McTigue may have fallen into that group and they're assisting her in some way," Simon said.
She is believed to be possibly driving a 2004 silver Honda Pilot with license plates NGP 809.
If you see McTigue, call the FBI tip line: 808-566-4300.