Missing men tied to ID theft case
The recent discovery of a body increases suspicion regarding past disappearances
Authorities are trying to determine if two men who disappeared in the Philippines are connected to Henry Calucag, who is awaiting trial for allegedly stealing property from a Kauai resident whose body was found outside Manila.
Last week, Kauai police said Philippine authorities found the body of John Elwin, the missing Kauai man, with a shot to his head. He was reported missing in May.
No one has been charged in connection with Elwin's death. But Calucag, also known as Hank Jacinto and more than a dozen other aliases, has been charged with first-degree identity theft, first-degree theft and forgery in connection with Elwin.
Calucag, 57, was to appear in state court today to ask a judge to grant him bail or supervised release pending his trial next month.
Now, investigators are taking a closer look at the disappearances of two Honolulu men with connections to Calucag. Arthur Young disappeared after traveling to the Philippines in 1990; Douglas Ho was reported missing in January 2005. Family members and friends said both traveled to the Philippines with Calucag and were never seen again.
And both, family members said, essentially transferred property to Calucag or his girlfriend before they left.
Kauai and Honolulu police continue to investigate the Elwin case, and the state attorney general and Honolulu police have renewed their investigation of the Young case.
Young's son, Michael, said Honolulu police re-interviewed him about his father's disappearance yesterday. Police are also interviewing family and friends of Ho.
A person who describes himself as a mutual acquaintance of both Calucag and Ho, and wished to remain anonymous, said friends had grown concerned when Calucag returned from the Philippines without Ho.
When confronted, Calucag said he lost Ho in the Philippines, according to the mutual acquaintance.
Like Elwin, friends of Ho said he went to the Philippines to purchase a condominium in the same complex where Calucag told them he already owns a unit.
Several people who describe themselves as friends of both Calucag and Ho said they did not want to reveal their identities because they fear for their own safety or they cannot believe Calucag could be guilty of any wrongdoing.
Like Young, Ho had essentially transferred property to Calucag before the two left for the Philippines in the summer of 2004.
In April 16, 2004, Ho executed a document giving him power of attorney over his elderly mother. On the same day, he signed a promissory note to Calucag's company, Pronetwork Center, for $280,000, using his mother's Kaneohe condominium as collateral. Calucag is listed as a witness on both documents.
Young also assumed power of attorney over his mother and signed promissory notes using his mother's St. Louis Heights home as collateral.
On March 22, 1990, Young executed a document assuming power of attorney over his mother. Three days earlier he had signed a promissory note to Calucag's girlfriend Debbie Anagaran for $70,000. On Nov. 11, 1990, a promissory note for $210,000 from Young to Anagaran was recorded at the state Bureau of Conveyances.
Michael Young said his father went to the Philippines to sell helicopter parts in October 1990 and was later reported missing in Hawaii by his girlfriend.
Young said Anagaran secured a mortgage on the home, defaulted and lost the home to foreclosure. But she and Calucag continued to live in the home after it was sold in auction.
Young acknowledges the paper trail does not paint a flattering picture of his father. But he encourages other people whose fathers might have been victimized in the same manner to come forward.
"Whatever your father has done in the past to you, that you might not think he's the best man in the world, it's not about him; it's more about what (Calucag) is doing to other people," Young said.
Friends and acquaintances of Calucag, whom they know as Hank Jacinto, said he was not a flashy dresser, but always wore a long-sleeve dress shirt.
They also said he drove a beat-up car, a curiosity for a man who purported to own a computer network company with millions of dollars in U.S. defense and federal government contracts -- including the Department of Homeland Security.
Friends also said there were other signs "Hank" was not who he said he was -- like the time he asked one of them for a small loan, which he paid back.
Calucag's company, Pronetwork Center, lists a mailbox at Century Center as its address.
Department of Homeland Security officials indicated they never heard of Calucag or Hank Jacinto, HPD white-collar crime Detective David Wadahara told a state judge earlier this month.
In December 1995, Calucag was sentenced to eight months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to depositing bogus checks into bank accounts he had opened under several aliases and withdrawing the money before the banks realized what was going on.
In October 1999 he was sent back to federal prison for 16 months for buying a 1993 Land Rover sport utility vehicle on credit using false identification and false credit information. He also leased computer equipment under his own name and an alias using false credit history information.