A federal grand jury today indicted two former Maui residents on charges they allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of about $8.6 million from 2005 to 2010, using the funds for such luxuries as a safari and construction of a Lahaina home.
George Lindell, 65 , and Holly Hoaeae, 39, were each charged with 13 mail fraud and three wire fraud counts and one count of money laundering conspiracy, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of various properties and assets, including up to $8,626,588.86, which the indictment alleges represents the total amount of proceeds obtained in the fraud. In addition, the defendants face fines of up to $250,000 on each of the fraud violations and up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds or financial instruments involved on the conspiracy charge.
U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni said that according to the indictment, Lindell and Hoaeae were not licensed by the state to accept deposits or investments but induced others to invest funds with them in an investment described by the two as “The Parking Lot,” where investors could earn between 6 and 8 percent return.
But instead of investing the funds into safe holdings such as bonds — which the two said they would do — Lindell and Hoaeae used the funds for their personal needs, she said. The indictment says the personal expenses included the construction of a residence in Lahaina, the purchase of a Lexis auto, payment of a $27,967 debt on a truck loan and payment of $28,500 for a New Zealand safari.
The indictment alleges Lindell and Hoaeae refinanced investors’ residences through their business “The Mortgage Store” for amounts well above the existing mortgages; the two then induced clients to invest with them the equity drawn from the differences between the refinanced amounts and the existing mortgage amounts.