A Hawaii man is set to plead guilty to a single count of wire fraud after being indicted by federal authorities for running a $1.4 million Ponzi scheme. Jason Pascua, 38, has agreed to admit responsibility for relieving 29 victims of their funds through bogus entertainment projects. While currently residing in Arizona, he has agreed to return to Honolulu and make his plea in US District Court on May 23rd.
Using his company J2 Marketing Solutions, from 2009 to 2012 Pascua promised investors extraordinary profits from events like concerts and nightclub openings in Honolulu and Las Vegas. He claimed that his promotions business could generate 25-50% returns within a few short weeks. According to the US Attorney’s Office, Pascua had devoted their cash to no legitimate purpose. He was paying off some clients with others’ money and misappropriating another portion for himself. Despite Pascua’s representations, J2 Marketing handled pet shows rather than any star-studded music bashes.
Because of his community standing and social ties, Pascua was well-positioned to operate an investment scam. He had served the president of the local Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the marketing director for the Japanese Chamber of Commerce; in addition he was Army reservist and had even run for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2010. A news report described Pascua as “a well-known guy who was hip in the nightclubs and helped out in the community”- he could also be seen in the society pages glad-handing with prominent local politicians. FBI agent Tom Simon cautioned Hawaiians:
Many of the alleged victims in this case have been financially ruined from their decision to invest in the defendant’s program. It will take them years to rebuild what was lost…
The people of Hawaii need to learn that there is no such thing as an investment with guaranteed returns of 25 percent to 50 percent. Somehow these cases keep recurring here. It’s baffling.
- Age: 38
- Company: J2 Marketing Solutions
- Job: Entertainment Marketer
- Scam: Concert & Club Promotions
- Profits: 25-50%
- Ponzi Time: 2009-2012
- Number of Victims: 29
- Amount of Fraud: $1.4 million
- Location: Honolulu, HI
- Indictment: 1 Count of Wire Fraud
- Court: U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii