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Former community leader pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 06:58 p.m. HST, May 23, 2013

A former state House candidate from Kaneohe admitted in U.S. District Court this afternoon to collecting more than $1.4 million from friends and family members in what the government says was a Ponzi scheme.

Jason Minoru Pascua, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for accepting a $68,930 wire transfer from an “investor.” He faces a maximum 20-year prison term at sentencing in September. He will also have to pay back all the money he took from his victims.

The government says Pascua told his “investors” that he was going to use their money in his concert and nightclub promotion business and promised them returns of 25 to 50 percent. He instead used money from new investors to pay off older investors and on his personal expenses, the government says.

Pascua unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Ken Ito for the state House’s 48th District seat in the 2010 Democratic primary elections. He is a former president and director of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

He now lives in Las Vegas.

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Who_Said wrote:
Greed and arrogance, plain and simple...
on May 23,2013 | 05:27PM
cojef wrote:
Victims were also looking for the fast bucks themselves too. Yep! greed always get's you in the end, either way, promoter and suckers.
on May 23,2013 | 05:44PM
tiki886 wrote:
This is exactly how Social Security works.
on May 23,2013 | 06:55PM
HD36 wrote:
He wouldn't have been a good politician; he got caught.
on May 23,2013 | 07:45PM
soundofreason wrote:
See? People give their money away for anything. Might as well have gaming where they at least have some odds at getting money back.
on May 23,2013 | 08:11PM
sak wrote:
on May 23,2013 | 08:15PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Is there no end to corruption among Hawaii politicians and "leaders of the community"? Is this come kind of Hawaii cultural thing?
on May 23,2013 | 09:03PM
Eradication wrote:
No. This happens everywhere. Actually, it happens even more on the continent. If you haven't noticed this guy is filipino. Not Hawaiian, that's not to say that Hawaiians are exempt from corruption, hardly. It's more to say that there are good and bad people from all walks of life and cultures.
on May 23,2013 | 11:00PM
localguy wrote:
Not a problem. Once he gets to prison some of the more "Experienced Residents" will take the time to show him the ropes, how to get along with fellow residents and how to meet new friends after lights out. Be very afraid of prison Jason, be very afraid.
on May 23,2013 | 10:45PM
Ronin006 wrote:
I was hoping the former community leader's name was Barrack Obama.
on May 24,2013 | 01:38AM
Giligan wrote:
If he was elected, he would be right at home. Is Social Security not a Ponzi?
on May 24,2013 | 05:42AM
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