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Hearing delayed for Waikiki man accused of stealing $200,000 in government assistance

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:42 p.m. HST, Oct 22, 2013

A Waikiki man accused of stealing more than $200,000 in government assistance despite having a sailboat, a Mercedes-Benz and an inheritance will have to wait a bit longer to see if a judge will release him from a federal detention center.

A criminal complaint filed in court last week alleges Vaughn Sherwood, 66, collected welfare cash payments, food stamps, housing assistance and student financial aid under stolen identities as well as his own.

His detention hearing was scheduled for Tuesday but postponed until Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson said.

Sherwood was a welfare recipient who also received medical assistance and food stamps under his real name from May 1988 to January 1999 and then again from July 2004 until recently, according to the complaint.

"Furthermore, investigators have learned that the subject owns or owned a sailboat docked at Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, Yamaha Jetboat and a Mercedes Benz S420 automobile," the complaint states.

According to the complaint, he inherited $230,597 when his father died in Pennsylvania in 1997 and $130,257 when his mother died in 2006. He continued to receive government assistance without reporting the money to the state, the document says.

In 2007, he claimed he had "$20 in cash on hand and $543 in a checking account at Central Pacific Bank," according to the affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.

Sherwood also enrolled as a college student under multiple false identities and received student financial aid, the document says.

Court records show Sherwood has felony convictions for possession of narcotic equipment in New Jersey in 1969, assault in Hawaii in 1975 and aggravated assault in Pennsylvania in 1977. Records also show misdemeanor convictions for driving under the influence of liquor in Hawaii in 1982, 1992 and 1996.

During a search of his condominium, agents said they found two rifles and four handguns, which he was not allowed to possess.

He is being held at the Honolulu Detention Center.

Sherwood's attorney, Marcus Sierra, declined to comment before the detention hearing.

The maximum penalty for government theft is 10 years in prison.

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Makua wrote:
I'm so pleased to here the Honolulu Detention Center, which I helped build, is there to hold these scoundrels. They are in a small cell with a narrow window to see the active world continuing, as they sit restricted.
on October 22,2013 | 06:10AM
Ronin006 wrote:
You've got to be kidding. When the ACLU learns detainees are kept in small cells with narrow windows to see the active world continuing as they sit restricted. The feds may have to demolish it and put you back to work building a new facility for detainees with more spacious accommodations, better views, maid service and room service.
on October 22,2013 | 07:29AM
RichardCory wrote:
Not going to happen. Nice try, but troll harder. 2/10.
on October 22,2013 | 07:45AM
XML808 wrote:
Don't forget the cable tv and free wifi.
on October 22,2013 | 07:48AM
false wrote:
Plus conjugal visits.
on October 22,2013 | 09:59AM
false wrote:
Not …..for real?
on October 22,2013 | 04:22PM
FinzyKontini wrote:
Would the dude fit inside, though?
on October 22,2013 | 11:56AM
false wrote:
Side ways.
on October 22,2013 | 04:22PM
krusha wrote:
These guys with continue to do whatever they can get away with, so they need to throw the book at him to set an example for others not to do the same thing. Ignorance is not a defense when it comes to breaking the law and defrauding the government.
on October 22,2013 | 06:26AM
serious wrote:
True, they are all Democrats---look at the White House--subsidized housing, free food and WiFi, free transportation, AND, doesn't take Obamacare!!!! AND, a lower tax bracket than most people who work for a living.
on October 22,2013 | 08:41AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yeah right, you are worried about this small time crook and the guys at JP Morgan get to pay a fine from their share holders accounts for perpetrating a fraud that sank the economy. All those guys who are overwhelmingly Republicans don't have to worry about jail or any real consequences for their actions. These fat cat republicans get away with everything..
on October 22,2013 | 09:11AM
serious wrote:
In all due respect--check your facts. JP Morgan was the largest contributor to the Obama campaign.
on October 22,2013 | 10:08AM
false wrote:
Get off the Democrat stuff all ready. It not as if all Republicans are angels.
on October 22,2013 | 04:24PM
soundofreason wrote:
It makes sense that he'd pull this stunt here. Speaks well about the caliber of local govt workers who didn't question.do anything all this time.
on October 22,2013 | 06:27AM
lokela wrote:
Lock this clown up. government does not do a thorough job in background checks. He hit almost every major public assistance programs.
on October 22,2013 | 06:40AM
pandadaddy wrote:
Nothing new here. Most people that I see at the store using EBT leave the store to get into their Escalade or some other luxury vehicle.
on October 22,2013 | 07:23AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
MOST people? Come now. Let's not exaggerate for the sake of exaggeration. We get your point.
on October 22,2013 | 07:47AM
Slow wrote:
Now now Pandadaddy, itis not polite to make up stories about other people. You just told a big, silly fib. You follow EBT users to their cars and check their IDs and the Escalade registration? Or are you a biased whiner who passed judgement on others based on yor fear, jealousy, racism and hatred? Tell us, which stores do you see this? None? You made it all up? Why doyou do this? Now go back to your room and come out when you can talk like a grown-up.
on October 22,2013 | 07:51AM
cojef wrote:
Entitlements are for the rich and poor alike, only difference is that there are hogs amongst us and they take more than their share. We all feed at the public trough in some manner or form. Only thing different is this individual is a hog. He took more than his share.
on October 22,2013 | 07:59AM
HD36 wrote:
If you're going to rip off the government, you got to do it legally: Have up to five kids out of wedlock so you get the maximum benefits.
on October 22,2013 | 08:04AM
DABLACK wrote:
Take all his belongings, sell them and pay back the money already !!
on October 22,2013 | 08:11AM
gsc wrote:
Make an example of him......Punish Him...............
on October 22,2013 | 09:22AM
Maipono wrote:
Here is allegedly, is just one example of waste, fraud and abuse of the welfare entitlement system that we have here in America and specifically in liberal Hawaii. The Democrats like to point out it is very low, but this guy got more than $200 K that he did not deserve. Just the tip of the iceberg.
on October 22,2013 | 12:49PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Come on now! They're going to put Santa Clause in prison?
on October 22,2013 | 12:50PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
What this man did is despicable. But did you know that that our Congress gave themselves another perk that basically pays the survivor of a Congressman $174,000? That means if a Congressman dies his next of kin will receive $174,000 regardless of need. In this case, a multimillionaire received $174,000 after her Congressman spouse passed away. If this is not ripping off the people, I don't know what is. Just like the insider trading law that was enacted but with a caveat. It exempted Congress of the same law. A law should be enacted to stop Congressmen to exempt themselves from laws that are applicable to their constituents. All laws enacted by Congress should apply to all including lawmakers. Going against that tenet is just simply wrong and is against our Constitution that all are equal under God.
on October 22,2013 | 12:55PM
false wrote:
When is enough money enough? Never to some people. Sheez, he had to take welfare. food stamps and a student loan. What a creep.
on October 22,2013 | 04:21PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Gee, I wonder for whom this fat pant-load voted? Lazy, dishonest, doing his best to bankrupt the country ... wait, it's coming to me... On a lighter note, he looks like he could have been a stuntman for the beloved Hurley from Lost. How many stevedores does it take to get him in and out of that sailboat?
on October 22,2013 | 04:52PM
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