Hilo man arrested for allegedly scamming over $1 million
A Hilo man was arrested Thursday, accused of scamming over $1 million using two different fraud scams.
According to an investigation conducted by the FBI and IRS, 32-year-old Justin Wade Smith allegedly impersonated either an heir to an inheritance or a federal law enforcement agent to extract money from the victims under faulty claims.
In the first scam he would promise a sizeable financial return if the victim provided an initial investment for him to access a supposedly large inheritance to which he was recently entitled.
The second scam alleged that he tricked victims into funding faulty law enforcement operations, after which they would receive compounded returns that would be derived from seizures of property conducted during said operations.
Smith was indicted on 39 counts of wire fraud that targeted over 30 alleged victims from Oahu, Big Island, Maui and Las Vegas.
However, FBI officials believe that Smith targeted several more people and need your held identifying other potential victims. If you believe you were a victim of these scams, or know of someone who was contact the FBI's Kona office at 808-329-5106.
Smith is scheduled to appear in Federal Court Friday afternoon.
For each of the 39 counts of wire fraud, Smith faces a maximum penalty of 20-years behind bars and up to a $250,000 fine.
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