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Maui woman pleads not guilty to federal Ponzi charge

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A 37-year-old Maui woman pleaded not guilty in federal court this afternoon to a charge in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that victimized people on the Valley Isle.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging Jedidah Duarosan with one count of interstate transport of stolen property.

FBI agents and Maui police arrested Duarosan at her home in Kula this morning.

Officials say Duarosan caused the wire transfer of $100,000 of “investor” money from her bank account to the account of an investor in California.

“Ms. Duarosan is the 12th defendant charged in Hawaii for investor fraud activity investigated by the FBI over the past three years,” said Tom Simon, FBI special agent.

The indictment alleges Duarosan collected about $882,000 from at least six people on Maui from October 2006 through April 2007. The people gave her the money believing they were investing in real estate development in the Philippines, gold in Indonesia and oil.

Duarosan promised investment returns of 5 percent per month over the course of a 90-day loan period followed by a cash bonus, the indictment says.

Instead of investing the money, the indictment alleges, Duarosan used $106,000 to pay off personal debts, lost $60,000 when she put down a non-refundable deposit on a land purchase she was unable to close and sent $100,000 to the investor in California.

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