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Former financial adviser sentenced to 24 days for defrauding elderly

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 02:03 a.m. HST, Jul 04, 2013

A 32-year-old former financial adviser was sentenced Wednesday to 24 days in jail for stealing nearly $40,000 from two elderly clients over a seven-month period to pay off gambling debts last year.

Circuit Judge Richard Perkins sentenced Scott Akashi to spend two days a month in jail for the next three months.

In April, Akashi pleaded no contest to 11 counts of second-degree theft.

Perkins rejected a state recommendation that Akashi, who was fired by John Hancock Financial Network after the theft was reported, serve at least one year in jail.

Perkins also rejected a plea by Akashi’s attorney, Richard Sing, that the defendant’s conviction be stricken from his record if he stayed out of trouble for a year.

Perkins placed Akashi on probation for five years and he was ordered to do 300 hours of community service beginning Aug. 1.

Michele Beckett said her grandmother, 88-year-old Lily Ching, gave Akashi $30,000 over a seven-month period because she trusted him.

She described his sentence as “fair,” adding that her intention has always been to bring Akashi’s name to the public.

The other victim, 90-year-old Hiroichi Koza, also said that his “main concern was to prevent him (Akashi) from doing something to other people.”

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs said Akashi promised them higher returns on their investments and even drove Ching to the bank to cash her checks. Instead of investing the money, the state said Akashi pocketed it for his own use.

The state said it got word of what was going on after Beckett noticed that her grandmother had a new checking account from which she wrote checks to Akashi.

Akashi’s parents in Hilo have reimbursed Ching $30,000 and another $10,000 to Koza.

Perkins said he imposed the jail term since he wanted to ensure that Akashi has learned something from the crime he has committed.

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cojef wrote:
Shame on this creep, being bailed out by his parents for his crooked schemes and having to repay the victims. They should have published his photo so the public is made aware of this scoundrel.
on July 3,2013 | 10:26AM
allie wrote:
agree..be wary of these schemes. Lot of fraud out here
on July 3,2013 | 10:43AM
gobows wrote:
no scheme...just gained their trust and stole their money.
on July 3,2013 | 11:46AM
Jonas wrote:
that's a ridiculous comment - there's no scheme here, as gobows stated. John Hancock is a solid respectable company. they just hired an unscrupulous employee who stole client's money.
on July 3,2013 | 04:28PM
agile wrote:
Totally agree. A photo is what's needed. I'd also be curious about what his income was and the "need" for perp'ing this crime.
on July 3,2013 | 11:58AM
entrkn wrote:
and once again, Hawaii's cracked system of justice fails us
on July 3,2013 | 10:33AM
agile wrote:
I had a case b/4 Judge Perkins years ago and have followed his decisions over the years. He's the most lenient judge in the system. Criminals adore him, I'm sure.
on July 3,2013 | 11:59AM
kuroiwaj wrote:
And the legislature wishes to legalize some form of gambling in Hawaii?
on July 3,2013 | 10:56AM
honoluludave wrote:
24 days in jail "to ensure Akashi has learned something from the crime he committed"? Yaah, that his parents will bail him out to the tune of $40K. What a great judge Perkins is. Glad he's looking out for the public.
on July 3,2013 | 10:57AM
Yukio wrote:
It's a good thing Lily Ching's granddaughter noticed something suspicious and alerted the authorities. This could have gone on for a long time with her grandmother losing more and more money (along with other defrauded people). Scott Akashi should be forced to serve the elderly community in some capacity as part of his 300 hours of community service. Maybe he can teach folks how to avoid crooks intent on stealing their money.
on July 3,2013 | 11:05AM
gobows wrote:
Let'm clean their bed pans.
on July 3,2013 | 11:48AM
agile wrote:
Right on!
on July 3,2013 | 12:00PM
agile wrote:
This case is what he got CAUGHT for. Wanna bet it wasn't his first time??
on July 3,2013 | 12:00PM
gsc wrote:
This sentence is a Joke !
on July 3,2013 | 11:33AM
agile wrote:
You can thank Judge Perkins for that. See my comment above-he's been that way for years. Likely on every criminals' X-mas list.
on July 3,2013 | 12:01PM
DannyBoy71 wrote:
This kid was scared and desperate. Obviously afraid of the repercussions that follow not paying an illegal gambling debt. This was his first offense. Geesh. What always catches me off guard are the criticisms of the judicial system. Maybe we should have thrown him in jail for 20 years? What good will that do? He is ordered to 24 days. (2 days a week, not a month, for the next 3 months... do the math) 300 hours of community service and 5 years of monitoring while on probation. All restitution was payed back, albeit via his parents. Would you rather the victims receive $50 a month in restitution? He will be monitored on a weekly basis for the next 5 years, insuring he becomes a contributor to society... If not? He'll have to serve 5 years in prison. Even the victims thought the sentencing was fair. But you folks with nothing better to do criticize the judge and the sentencing. I wonder what qualifies your opinion and decision making skills to be a better judge of character than Judge Perkins? I hope any of you commenting do not ever slip up or have a family member slip up. Aloha!
on July 3,2013 | 11:39AM
agile wrote:
Are you serious? I'm guessing you have the same kinds of "issues" as Akashi and are in denial. Incidentally, a "slip-up" is when you make a little mistake - not knowingly plan and scheme and cover up to defraud the vulnerable.
on July 3,2013 | 12:03PM
DannyBoy71 wrote:
yeah... i'm serious. and no i don't have any issues. what qualifications do you have to have a greater opinion than judge perkikins? Oh yeah... none.
on July 3,2013 | 12:15PM
DannyBoy71 wrote:
Don't get mad that Judge Perkins' opinion has more weight than yours. I'm sure if he understood that you are an avid poster on this site, he'd take your opinion very seriously.... :-/
on July 3,2013 | 12:18PM
Meleana22 wrote:
@DannyBoy71 ...but you do have issues, you seem to have no regard for how vulnerable the elderly can be. This was a heartless, calculated crime carried out by this scammer. It was not a spur-of-the-moment crime nor one of a passion but one of a greedy, scheming individual praying on those of advanced age. This guy is a first-class jerk and it is a pity that his parents enabled his bad behavior by bailing him out. The only good thing that came out of all this is that the VICTIMS (yes, VICTIMS) got their money back.
on July 3,2013 | 03:56PM
Meleana22 wrote:
Scheming to steal money from the elderly is a pretty low blow. ANYONE that does such an egregious act should be severely punished and serving 24 days in prison does not set an example for other unscrupulous individuals. I wonder how Judge Perkins would feel if a cold-hearted scammer did that to one of his elderly family members?
on July 3,2013 | 03:32PM
50skane wrote:
You must either be: 1) related to Judge Perkins, 2) have a family member who is also a bleeding heart judge or 3) have a family member or close friend who was also involved something similar to Akashi's crime! Preying upon the trusting and innocent elderly should garnish a mandatory sentence of at least 2 years for any felony like this..not a slap on the wrist! Did someone twist his arm to incur all those gambling debts! If you play and lose then you better be ready to pay!
on July 3,2013 | 05:12PM
gobows wrote:
in the Olden days.....there would've been some seppuku performed by the offender and even the family......how shame for the family.....
on July 3,2013 | 01:01PM
kprtyqn wrote:
Wow must be nice that & Daddy can bail you out of the issues you caused on your own. But then again you love your child no matter what even if its costs you everything. I wonder if they would bailed him out if he committed murder??
on July 3,2013 | 02:33PM
Meleana22 wrote:
I just submitted another response to one of the other posters; No bad language or anything inappropriate and this NEWSPAPER is holding back my comment. Pretty sure it has to do with the fact that an earlier comment I felt the judge did not give an adequate sentence to the scammer. So much for freedom of speech. I guess we have but another constitutional right eliminated.
on July 3,2013 | 04:04PM
royboy88 wrote:
32-year old worm!
on July 3,2013 | 04:47PM
50skane wrote:
24 days!!!! for stealing..yes stealing these elderly kapunas money that they worked hard all their lives for..this is exactly what this state doesn't need..liberal bleeding heart judges..hopefully the next time someone elderly gets ripped off, it will be his (judge's) own parents or grandparents..then see what he thinks then!!!
on July 3,2013 | 05:04PM
HD36 wrote:
Before the internet you need financial planners and mutual funds. Opening up a brokerage account and managing your finances yourself is no harder than changing your own oil. The main difference is that you'll save a whole lot more over 30 years. The main caveat is to stay away from options, and leveraged margin unless you know what you're doing.
on July 3,2013 | 06:18PM
soundofreason wrote:
HOW could I just LOOK at the sentence in the headline and KNOW it was PERKINS...........AGAIN!!! GET this guy OFF the bench!
on July 3,2013 | 07:08PM
Poplm wrote:
G. K. Kakesako reports that Akashi stole 40,00 and was sentenced to 24 days or did he steal 40,000 and get sentenced to 6 days? iam so confused.
on July 3,2013 | 07:32PM
808warriorfan wrote:
WHAT A SLAP ON THE WRIST.....Normally Judge Perkins can be tough
on July 3,2013 | 10:47PM
sailfish1 wrote:
The sentence is nothing - 24 days for 11 counts of theft? Isn't there some kind of minimum sentence for stealing? In addition, what about his gambling debts - was it in Vegas? If not, wasn't he gambling illegally?
on July 3,2013 | 11:28PM
bodysurf_ah wrote:
I'll never forget the name Scott Akashi. He's lucky that wasn't my grandparent. Trash
on July 4,2013 | 09:15PM
konag43 wrote:
the credit goes to the parents that paid the victims for their loss. but in the judges statement i don't see where she made the request that akashi pay the money back. i only hope the parents of akashi makes sure that he pays his parents for the loss otherewise he will never learn from this bitter lesson and go on to do it to others.
on July 5,2013 | 02:05PM
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