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Fraud case dismissed

By Star-Advertiser staff


Financial fraud charges against the former president of a Big Island tourist attraction called World Botanical Gardens north of Hilo were dismissed last month in Circuit Court in Hilo.

A Big Island grand jury indicted Pepeekeo residents Walter L. Wagner and his wife, Linda M. Wagner, on Feb. 28, 2008, on charges of first-degree identity theft and attempted first-degree theft for allegedly using deception to gain control of property worth more than $20,000 belonging to World Botanical Gardens on Sept. 10, 2004.

Deputy Prosecutor Jason Skier said the case was dismissed without prejudice last month due to a technicality, and said the Wagners can be recharged. Skier said he could not say whether they will be recharged.

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