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Hawaii man found guilty in federal tax fraud case

A Hawaii man has been convicted in federal court in Northern California in a tax fraud case.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in San Jose, Calif. announced Wednesday Eric Aaron Lighter was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit blackmail and witness tampering.

Prosecutors say the 61-year-old self-described real estate developer and businessman from Volcano on the Big Island joined a conspiracy to defraud the government known as National Trust Services, which marketed and sold abusive trust packages.

Court documents say Lighter was involved in fabricating false and fraudulent tax returns to understate the tax liabilities of members in the organization. Lighter directed some clients to transfer assets to corporations he owned or controlled.

Sentencing is scheduled for March.

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