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Man pleads not guilty in Ponzi scheme

A man accused of ripping off Hawaii convicts serving prison time on the mainland and their families in a $3 million Ponzi scheme pleaded not guilty to wire fraud and mail fraud charges yesterday in federal court.

A federal judge set a March trial date for Perry Jay Griggs and ordered him held without the opportunity for bail pending trial.

Griggs’ wife, Rachelle, pleaded not guilty to the same charges last week.

The couple were fugitives from October, when a federal grand jury in Hawaii returned an indictment against them, until their capture in Arizona last month. They are accused of running a Ponzi scheme from 2003 to 2008 while Perry Griggs was in a federal prison in Las Vegas for operating another Ponzi scheme in California.

 

Help at tax time

Free income tax preparation assistance is being offered by appointment from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the state Capitol, Room 329. Help with federal and state returns is available for low- and moderate-income taxpayers who qualify, made possible through the Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development and state legislators. Parking will be free at the blue-metered stalls in the Capitol’s underground parking. Call 548-8887 for an appointment.

 

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Police remind drivers in Hilo to yield

Big Island police are asking motorists to use caution at the intersection of Waianuenue and Kamehameha avenues in downtown Hilo.

Police have received complaints from business and community members saying drivers are not yielding the right of way to pedestrians.

Police said that in many cases, vehicles are not coming to a complete stop at a red traffic light before making a right-hand turn.

Police will increase enforcement in the area and are working on the problem with the Department of Public Works.

 

Kihei Islander delays being addressed

The Maui County Department of Transportation says it is trying to resolve the recent delays that have plagued the Kihei Islander route.

Riders and Maui Bus drivers have reported unusual delays. The department said in a news release that while some of the delays might be due to weather cleanup, heavy ridership and also the popularity of the route could also be contributing to the delays.

The department is working to modify the Maui Bus schedule and coordinate with other routes to head off the problems.

Transportation Director Jo Anne Johnson said, "We are truly sorry for the inconvenience to the public and ask for their patience and understanding while these delay problems are being addressed. We hope that it can be resolved quickly and with a minimum of inconvenience to our loyal riders."

For more information or to offer suggestions, contact the Maui County Department of Transportation at 270-7511.

 

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