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Molokai man sentenced for wire fraud charges

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A Molokai man who has already spent more than four years in federal prison for stealing more than $2.4 million in Washington through an investment scam is going back to prison for stealing $55,000 from two people here in another investment scam.

David Buchanan, 47, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court in May.

U.S. District Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway sentenced Buchanan this morning to two years in prison. She also ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service and to repay his victims, $45,000 to one victim and $10,000 to the other.

Buchanan still owes his previous victims most of the $2.4 million he stole from them in 1999 to 2004.

A federal judge in Tacoma sentenced him in 2005 to 57 months in prison for wire fraud and ordered Buchanan to repay his victims the $2,444,328 he stole from them through his through his phoney business, Buchanan Investments LLC. Instead of investing his victims’ money as he promised, Buchanan admitted that he spent the money on himself and his family including for the purchase of a luxury car, expensive jewelry and a lavish wedding reception for his fiancee. He also admitted using the money to pay off his personal credit cards, on real estate purchases and to put a down payment toward the purchase of a golf course in Washington.

After he completed his prison term for the Washington investment scam, Buchanan returned to Hawaii in 2009.

He admitted that in 2012 and 2013, he scammed his neighbor on Molokai, a retired federal employee, out of $45,000 by promising her than he could turn her risk-free "investment" in his fictional Molokai’s Finest business into $300,000. Instead of investing the money, Buchanan spent it on personal travel, an online strategy video game called Evony and on an internet girlfriend in the Philippines through Western Union wire transfers. He also spent the money on online shopping, credit card payments and other personal expenses for himself and his brother.

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