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Feds: Honolulu woman used Twitter to scam investors

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 07:20 a.m. HST, Apr 09, 2014

A Honolulu woman is facing fraud charges for posing as an investment banker and soliciting investors through social media, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.

In one scheme, Keiko Kawamura allegedly sought investors for her self-described hedge fund and posted on Twitter some screenshots of brokerage account statements suggesting she was personally obtaining incredible investment returns that were not hers.

Kawamura spent the money on living expenses and luxury trips, the SEC said.

In another instance, Kawamura attracted investors to her subscription service for investment advice.  She told subscribers about her decade of experience and had 800 percent returns in her personal brokerage account.

The SEC said Kawamura violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5, and Sections 206(1), 206(2), and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Rule 20(4)-8. 

"As alleged in our case, Kawamura used social media to ensnare investors and raise money to support her lifestyle," said Michele Wein Layne, director of the SEC's Los Angeles Regional Office.  "Investors should beware of fraudsters who use social media to hide behind anonymity and reach many investors with little to no cost or effort."

The SEC's investigation was conducted by Brent Smyth and Finola H. Manvelian of the Los Angeles Regional Office.

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false wrote:
If you believed in 800% return, I can sell you the Royal Hawaiian with great financing.
on April 8,2014 | 01:49PM
Anonymous wrote:
Just more evidence Hawaii needs a financial literacy course before students can graduate from high school.
on April 8,2014 | 02:19PM
Papakolea wrote:
Lesson One: if the investment banker is advertising on Twitter, it's probably a bad idea to give her large sums of money.
on April 8,2014 | 03:18PM
cojef wrote:
Sucker born every day makes it worth while to scam them. If not for them, who else?
on April 9,2014 | 08:45AM
Anonymous wrote:
If an investment or hedge fund sounds like it's too good to be true, then stop and think about it! No investment out there pays out 800% returns, None; as the old adage says: if it sounds too good to be true, then it is! Why people continue to fall for such old, worn out tricks is beyond me. Save your pride and your money and report such scams instead of allowing your greed to get the better of you!
on April 9,2014 | 12:12AM
awahana wrote:
Let's see:
Twitter. Young people with disposable income who don't yet know how to manage their money. Can you say 2 year iPhone contract?
Old people would not trust their money with someone so young. And old people are not on social media, for the most part.
Anything beyond 24% these days, should sound an alarm. Bank interest rates are less than 1%. And most checking accounts are ZERO!
on April 9,2014 | 10:39AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
As the saying goes "If its sound too good to be true it probably is...."
on April 9,2014 | 10:49AM
what wrote:
Probably? So you're saying there's a chance....
on April 9,2014 | 11:09AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Greed begets greed.
on April 9,2014 | 11:29AM
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