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Man gets 18 months for fraud

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A 38-year-old Pearl City man awaiting trial for the sexual assault of a boy was sentenced Friday to 1-1/2  years in federal prison for wire fraud and theft of government property in another case.

Keoni Rosa Jr., a former Army reservist at Fort Shafter Flats, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright to pay $46,440.89 in restitution to his victims.

Rosa apologized in court for “wasting everybody’s time for my stupid actions” and said he would rectify his wrongs by paying restitution.

“With a heavy heart, I’d like to to apologize to the victims in this case,” he said. “I acted like a complete idiot and a dumb—-.”

Rosa pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud and theft of government property.

He took about $30,000 from 10 people in 2012 by telling them he would invest their cash in a friend’s Las Vegas entertainment business, according to statements in court and court records.

Rosa told his investors he would give their money to a man named Jason Pascua. Seabright said Rosa acted as a middleman for Pascua, who was running an illegal Ponzi scheme, but Rosa kept the money for himself and his family and never gave Pascua the cash.

In 2013, Pascua was sentenced to four years in prison for bilking investors out of more than $1 million through the Ponzi scheme — a fraudulent operation that collects money from new investors to pay off previous investors.

Some of those Rosa defrauded included his brother, his cousin and fellow reservists, the judge said.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon said he uncovered Rosa’s crimes after victims told Simon that they gave Rosa money for Pascua’s operation.

The wire fraud offense stems from a text message Rosa sent to assure an investor she would get her money back, court documents said.

Rosa was also sentenced for theft of government property for writing dozens of bad checks worth $16,440.89 at the Navy Exchange Mall at Pearl Harbor.

Besides the federal case, Rosa is scheduled for trial in state court later this month for first-degree sexual assault and continuous sexual assault of a minor. Rosa was indicted in February 2014 after a 14-year-old boy accused him of performing oral sex on him numerous times between 2009 and 2013, court records say. The boy said Rosa, who was his mother’s close friend, began sexually assaulting him when he was in the sixth grade.

Rosa was being held at Oahu Community Correctional Center in lieu of $75,000 bail.

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