Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, September 14, 2013
Former HI House candidate sentenced in $1.5 million ponzi scheme
By Malia Zimmerman @ 2:45 AM :: 6882 Views :: Democratic Party, Ethics, Politicians

Former HI House candidate, Army reservist sentenced in $1.5 million ponzi scheme

 SENTENCED: Jason Pascua must repay his victims — at least 34 people — more than $1 million when released, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said.

by Malia Zimmerman, September 13, 2013, Watchdog.org

HONOLULU — A politically connected man who ran a $1.5 million Ponzi scheme will spend 48 months in prison, a judge has ruled.

The man, Jason Pascua, must repay his victims — at least 34 people — more than $1 million when released, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said.

Five of Pascua’s victims spoke in federal court Thursday.

“You repeatedly lied to work this scheme, not to strangers but to family and friends. Most distressing, you betrayed your fellow comrades in arms who would rely on you in battle. … That betrayal runs particularly deep,” Kobayashi said.

Pascua, 39, was well-educated, with a wife and 2-year-old child. He served in the Army Reserve.

The society pages of MidWeek magazine showed Pascua at events with some of Hawaii’s most well-known politicians, including former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and prominent Democratic activist Amy Agbayani.

In 2010, Pascua joined the Democratic Party of Hawaii to run for House District 48 on the promise of “real change.”

 Pascua kept up appearances that he was a successful concert promoter.

He announced his candidacy, built a website and started a Facebook page created but, according to news reports, party officials challenged his qualifications because his membership was not in good standing 60 days before filing.

He was president of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the marketing director of the Hawaii Central Credit Union and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Les Osborne told the judge that, other than greed, there was no reason for the crime and blatant disregard for family, friends and society.

“He wanted to play in the streets of Las Vegas,” Osborne said. “He became nothing more than a thief.”

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon, who investigated the Ponzi scheme, said the sentence for Pascua “seems about right.”

“We want to definitely send a message to him that this kind of activity is not permissible in Hawaii. But we also want to make sure that Mr. Pascua can some day get out of prison and become a productive member of society so he can pay back the million dollars he owes to his victims,” Simon said.

Simon said not a dime of the money invested with Pascua went into any kind of income-producing business venture but, instead, was spent at Las Vegas nightclubs and casinos.

“The largest victim is a single mother who invested her entire life savings of $225,000 with Pascua only to lose it all. She now has nothing, and she has to start over.”

U.S. Army Reservist Captain Byron Ramiro took out a $10,000 loan to invest in Pascua’s concert promotion business. Ramiro persuaded his friends and fellow services members to invest in J2 Marketing, offering a 25 percent to 50 percent return on their investments.

Pascua is living in Arizona and has requested he serve his federal jail sentence there. He is scheduled to surrender himself to authorities next month.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT