Husband and Wife Plead Guilty To Involvement In Multi-Million Dollar Investment Fraud Scheme Based in Hawaii
News Release from US DoJ, July 3, 2019
HONOLULU – Neil Kauhi, 51, pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of wire fraud. Kauhi faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. His wife, Lyndie Kauhi, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony. She faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years. Both Lyndie and Neil Kauhi are detained without bail until their sentencings on October 17, 2019.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price announced that, according to court documents and information presented in court, between October 2012 and April 2018, Neil Kauhi executed an investment fraud scheme involving over 20 victims. Neil Kauhi took in more than $2.5 million by promising these victims that their money would be invested in precious metals, real estate, a trucking company, and a solar energy company. Instead of directing the victims’ funds into the promised investments, Kauhi diverted most of the money to his and his family’s own personal use, such as expenditures on travel, rent and utilities, restaurants, vehicles, retail purchases, entertainment, and a daughter's wedding, as well as into other unauthorized investments.
According to court documents, Lyndie Kauhi knew about her husband’s investment fraud scheme, but she did not report it to federal authorities. Instead, Lyndie Kauhi took steps to conceal the fraud scheme, by among other things, depositing and transferring victims’ funds into the Kauhi’s personal bank accounts. When interviewed on November 8, 2017 by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Lyndie Kauhi made misleading statements and material omissions about the fraud scheme.
As part of their plea agreement, both Lyndie and Neil Kauhi have agreed to pay restitution for the fraud losses to victims. Neil Kauhi has also agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $2,981,191.64. Federal authorities have already seized approximately $581,618.51 in funds in connection with the sale of real property associated with Neil Kauhi.
The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Perlmutter.