Maui Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo sentenced a former 2014 Maui mayoral candidate to 20 years in prison for securities fraud, the Attorney General’s Office announced Monday.
Nelson Waikiki was sentenced Friday to 20 years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
Waikiki persuaded several people to invest money in a water rights company on Maui, Deputy Attorney General Albert Cook said.
“Following an investigation by the state, it was determined that Mr. Waikiki did not have such rights to the water, that he was not registered to sell securities in Hawaii and that the securities he sold were not registered,” Cook said.
Waikiki scammed up to 21 victims for more than $100,000, the Attorney General’s Office said. The victims invested their money with Waikiki, who was not a registered securities broker, between July 2008 and December 2012.
In July 2014, the then 49-year-old Waikiki was arrested at a forum, where he was one of six mayoral candidates at Seabury Hall, on a warrant, and was held on $100,000 cash-bail only.
Waikiki was jailed more than nine months after his arrest in 2013. He was released in April 2014 after he changed his plea to guilty.