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Kauai Ponzi scheme operator gets prison sentence of more than 3 years

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A Kauai man who stole more than $1.5 million from “investors” in a Ponzi scheme then fled to Indonesia was sentenced in federal court this morning to 44 months in prison for fraud.

Peter Heckmann must also pay back a total of $1.6 million to seven victims. In addition, he faces extradition to his native Germany after he completes his prison term.

Heckmann, 63, promised his victims quick returns of 10 percent to 15 percent for investing in his recording studio in Kapaa. 

He fled to Bali in 2007 just before a federal grand jury returned an indictment against him charging multiple counts of fraud. Indonesia does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

Heckmann returned to Hawaii this past March because he told the FBI he was tired of being a fugitive constantly looking over his shoulder.

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