Former charity worker facing more charges
Honolulu police are expanding an investigation into fundraising activities by Timothy Peter Janusz, who allegedly steered Salvation Army donations to companies controlled by him.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter told Circuit Judge Derrick Chan yesterday that more charges are expected against the 48-year-old Janusz.
"There's at least five additional potential offenses the defendant committed during his employment with Salvation Army involving real property and other donations," Van Marter said.
Chan increased bail to $5 million from $1 million for the former Salvation Army fundraiser accused of stealing $150,000 from a donor.
City prosecutors asked for the increase after Janusz was indicted by an Oahu grand jury yesterday on multiple felony charges, including two counts of first-degree theft, money laundering and two racketeering counts.
He was arrested last Thursday after his supervisor filed a criminal complaint against him based on an anonymous tip. A March 31 e-mail accused Janusz of stealing from the agency and defrauding the elderly. Janusz was fired last week from the Salvation Army, where he had worked since July 2003. He and his wife came here in 2003 and had been living in Kailua.
Van Marter argued yesterday that Janusz was a danger to the community and a flight risk based on his previous record.
In January 1998, Janusz had escaped with the help of his wife from a federal prison in South Dakota, where he was serving a term of 63 months for defrauding an elderly couple of $2.2 million. The FBI later found him in the Dutch Antilles. Janusz challenged the extradition proceedings but was subsequently returned to the United States to serve out the remainder of his term. The escape charge against him is pending.
"A person who can escape from federal custody and flee the country poses an extreme flight risk," Van Marter said.
Court records say the charges stem from the transfer of Arizona property valued at $18,000 in December 2004 and Big Island property valued at $127,000 to companies controlled by Janusz.
Janusz sent a letter to Franklin Geiger, 77, on March 24 seeking a donation for a $150,000 annuity.
Geiger agreed, and on March 26 wrote three $50,000 checks payable to a company called Kaspick Holding Co. -- which did not exist on that date, Van Marter said. Geiger delivered the checks to Janusz the following day.
On March 28, Janusz is accused of registering with the state a company called Kaspick Holding Co. -- similar to the California-based Kaspick & Co., which manages and oversees annuities made by donors to the Salvation Army. Two days later, Janusz went to the Bank of Hawaii and opened a corporate account for his company, and on March 31 he deposited the checks into his company's account, Van Marter said.
According to its policy, the bank put a 12-day hold on the deposit until yesterday.
After completing his prison term in South Dakota, Janusz came to Hawaii in 2003 and was under the supervision of the federal probation office. His supervised release expired in January. However, the alleged crimes he is still under investigation for involved substantial sums of money and occurred while he was still under federal supervision, Van Marter said.