Molokai man pleads guilty to wire fraud, at least $40K stolen

David Buchanan, left, and his attorney

A Molokai man pleaded guilty to wire fraud in federal court Thursday, saying he used some of the money he took from his victims to pay for an online video game.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said David Buchanan, 47, lied to at least one Hawaii resident and took at least $40,000 from her.

Authorities said he then spent the stolen money on a girlfriend in the Philippines and a web-based video game.

“We do a lot of investment fraud cases here in Hawaii and the money gets spent in any number of ways,” said FBI special agent Tom Simon. “Often times there is a vice involved such as gambling and drugs or some kind of illicit girlfriend and ends up spending a lot of money on it. I’ve never in 18 years having done this seen anyone spend this amount of money on a video game so in that case, it’s very unusual.”

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison.

Buchanan will be back in court for sentencing on August 25.

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