Kaneohe man pleads guilty to $1.5 million Ponzi scheme

Jason Pascua

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He had political dreams, ran for office, and lived a luxurious lifestyle.

Federal officials say 39-year-old Jason Pascua, of Kaneohe, stole more than $1.5 million from dozens of Hawaii families.

He appeared in federal court on Thursday and admitted to the crime.

Pascua pleaded guilty to creating a Ponzi scheme — taking money from investors and giving that money to new investors who were promised up to 50 percent profit on their investment in a concert and promotion scheme.

One of the 31 victims spoke with KHON2 after Pascua’s court appearance.

“The aggregate sum would be pretty bad. I mean, everybody, the whole media covered the Stevie Wonder blunder. That’s chump change compared to this. That’s nothing,” Ponzi scheme victim Michael Lew said.

“We have to admit that there’s no money left. All the money appears to have been spent, so it’s going to be a long road back to any financial recoveries,” Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Tom Simon said.

Pascua is free on bail. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11.

He could face up to 20 years in prison.

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