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Former Filipino chamber president sentenced for fraud

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:39 p.m. HST, Aug 12, 2013

Former Filipino Chamber of Commerce President Stephen Callo was sentenced to 30 days in federal prison and three years probation after pleading guilty to wire fraud for lying about his income to secure a $553,501 loan to buy a Makakilo home in 2006.

Callo was also fined $3,000 in U.S. District Court this afternoon.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the federal prosecutor dropped 13 other charges against Callo for his participation in the largest mortgage fraud scheme uncovered in Hawaii. Callo, a certified public accountant, prepared and signed letters containing false information about the employment histories of loan applicants and signed another fraudulent loan application.

He was among 14 people named in two August 2010 indictments charging them with conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements on loan applications involving 46 residential properties on Oahu.

“Simply put, certified public accountants should not be involved in financial fraud schemes,” said Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon. “It’s a profession that relies on integrity and the public’s trust.  If a CPA tells you financial figures are accurate, you should be able to rely on that as the gospel truth,” he said. 

 “It’s very disappointing that Mr. Callo would betray his own profession’s ethical standards by lying about financial data for his own personal gain. The Honolulu FBI will be referring this case to regulatory authorities for administrative sanctions that may include stripping Mr. Callo of his CPA license and professional designation,” he said.

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