Former Oahu man sentenced for fraudulent investment scheme

Hawaii News Now/File
Hawaii News Now/File(HNN File (custom credit))
Updated: Dec. 19, 2020 at 2:43 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Oahu man has been sentenced to more than eight years behind bars for an fraudulent investment scheme that swindled millions of dollars from victims.

52-year-old Neil Kauhi was sentenced Friday to 97 months for his schemes that targeted over 30 victims.

Prosecutors say from 2012 to 2018, he took $3.2 million from 33 victims to invest in precious metals, real estate, a trucking company and other means. But instead of investing the funds, he used the money to pay for personal expenses, like a Makakilo home, his daughter’s wedding, cars and more.

Kauhi was found guilty of the theft, taking advantage of neighbors, family members, friends, and fellow church parishioners in Hawaii and New Zealand.

The elaborate scheme involved wire transfers through home equity loans or IRAs that would allow Kauhi to move the money into his own accounts, prosecutors said.

At sentencing, Judge Gillmor called his acts “heartless,” and was ordered to pay over $3.2 million in restitution and forfeit over $581,000.

“Defendant Kauhi lined his pockets by destroying lives through fraud. This prosecution ensures accountability for the devastation he caused to those in our communities who unwittingly entrusted him with their money. My office will continue to vindicate the interests of victims who fall prey to those like Defendant Kauhi, who will callously cause financial ruin to others for their own comfort,” U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price said.

Kauhi’s wife was also charged in connection with the fraud scheme. She pleaded guilty to a lesser offense and was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.

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