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FBI: Community and business leader ran $1.4M scam

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 06:05 p.m. HST, Mar 29, 2013

A 38-year-old business and community leader, who unsuccessfully ran for state House in 2010, has agreed to plead guilty to operating a $1.4 million Ponzi scheme in which he allegedly swindled 29 Hawaii families.

Jason Pascua  promised investors guaranteed returns of 25 percent to 50 percent for investments in Honolulu and Las Vegas concert and nightclub promotion events, the FBI said in an e-mail. But the concert and nightclub business was nonexistent and  instead of putting on concerts and promotions, Pascua spent the money on his personal expenses, the FBI said.

Some early investors received returns, but the money came from other investors and not from concert promotions, the FBI said.

“Many of the alleged victims in this case have been financially ruined from their decision to invest in the defendant’s program,” said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.

Pascua served as president of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and ran as a Democrat for a Kaneohe House seat in 2010.

Pascua, now living in Arizona, negotiated a surrender to federal authorities in May. He is scheduled to be arraigned and enter a guilty plea May 23 in federal court.

“The past four years have seen an epidemic of Ponzi schemes plaguing the Hawaii economy. Hopefully, this latest case will serve as a lesson to the people of Hawaii to investigate before they invest,” Simon said.

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saveparadise wrote:
Gee, you mean we can't trust politicians?? If it sounds too good to be true.....it is not.
on March 29,2013 | 09:59AM
serious wrote:
And, a Democrat, leaching on the Middle Class!!!!
on March 29,2013 | 11:06AM
allie wrote:
Not sure is party identification is in any way relevant
on March 29,2013 | 12:12PM
pandadaddy wrote:
Only when it's a Republican does it seem to matter.
on March 29,2013 | 02:55PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Please... the guy was a politician wanna be. What he was was just another crooked businessman. Pure and simple in the tradition of Ronald Rewald (remember him).
on March 29,2013 | 11:20AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
what did you expect? our government is one huge ponzi scheme. it's based on people putting in (taxes), a few profiting and most not getting anything out of it.
on March 29,2013 | 11:01AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
This has nothing to do with government. They guy was never elected to office. I am amazed that given your logic you didn't say that the Chamber of Commerce was den of thieves.
on March 29,2013 | 12:53PM
HD36 wrote:
Also, it's based on borrowing more money to pay bonds and interest from loans that were borrowed before that.
on March 29,2013 | 03:31PM
LFR2 wrote:
Can you folks READ? He was NEVER a politician, RAN UNSUCCESSFULLY. Ken Ito crushed him in the primary in 2010.
on March 29,2013 | 11:23AM
primo1 wrote:
Yup, tried unsuccessfully to get in on the taxpayer funded Ponzi scheme known as the legislature.
on March 29,2013 | 12:20PM
IAmSane wrote:
Reading is for LIEbrals.
on March 29,2013 | 04:12PM
alohaboy wrote:
This is a disgusting human being. Shame on him for cheating people of their hard earned money. He should never return to the islands.
on March 29,2013 | 11:41AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
What a low life.
on March 29,2013 | 12:02PM
allie wrote:
yikes...lots of this kind of thing going on. Be careful!
on March 29,2013 | 12:12PM
primo1 wrote:
Guaranteed returns of 25-50%? A fool and his money are soon parted...
on March 29,2013 | 12:22PM
slink wrote:
Blame the thief, yes, but some of the blame should be placed on people who expect to get rich quick without making any effort. Like Primo1 wrote, 25-50%? Some people just want to be rich...and if you weren't born into it, then hard work is the only way.
on March 29,2013 | 01:13PM
cojef wrote:
You have it, greed to get rich quick is ponzi schemer's milieu.
on March 29,2013 | 03:25PM
pj737 wrote:
Disgusting is an understatement. I heard he even preyed on elderly people. But alas... our pathetic criminal justice system will probably put him on probation after a couple years.
on March 29,2013 | 12:32PM
gobows wrote:
on March 29,2013 | 12:50PM
ready2go wrote:
Hope this con artist never returns to Hawaii. Mabuhay!
on March 29,2013 | 02:35PM
Mako777 wrote:
Give the guy a break! All he wanted to be was a POLITICIAN! I mean....he actually persuaded someone to give him $150,000 CASH to invest. He would've made a pretty darn good politician wouldn't you say???? They're full of promises.....but they never deliver!
on April 3,2013 | 09:11AM
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