Task force investigating suspect
Henry Calucag Jr. is charged with theft, ID theft and forgery
Bank fraud convict Henry Calucag Jr. is the focus of a federal, state and county task force investigating the disappearance of three Hawaii men with ties to him, a city prosecutor's investigator testified yesterday.
The three men are Arthur Young, Douglas Ho and John Elwin, who all disappeared after traveling to the Philippines with Calucag, police said. And Calucag wound up with money, property or both from all three missing men, according to police and documents filed at the state Bureau of Conveyances.
Young went to the Philippines in October 1990 and has not been seen since. Ho went to the Philippines in 2004 and was reported missing by his family in Hawaii in January 2005 after he failed to return, police said.
Elwin went to the Philippines in early May, friends said. On May 14 his body was found on the side of a road in a province outside Manila, Philippine National Police said. He had gunshot wounds to the back and back of the head, Philippine police said.
Calucag, 57, is charged with first-degree identity theft, first-degree theft and forgery for allegedly using a forged document to assume title to a plot of land on Kauai owned by Elwin. Trial is scheduled for January. Calucag remains in custody at Oahu Community Correctional Center without bail.
City prosecutor's investigator Lori Kurisaki said she is part of the task force investigating the three men's disappearance. Her testimony yesterday was in response to Calucag's request for bail or supervised release from jail pending trial.
Honolulu police Detective David Wadahara also testified in Circuit Court that he is investigating Calucag for fraudulent use of a credit card, a computer-related felony, and additional theft and identity theft charges in connection with the Elwin case.
At the end of yesterday's hearing, Circuit Judge Michael Town rejected Calucag's request for bail or supervised release.
Deputy City Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said Calucag poses an even greater flight risk today than when his bail was revoked following a Sept. 14 hearing, because Elwin was not known to be dead at that time.
"No bail can be set," Van Marter said. "Even a million dollars' bail cannot be set because this defendant will flee."
Calucag's lawyer Jeffrey Hawk said his client is not a suspect in Elwin's death. And he said it is hard for him to defend his client against accusations he might have been responsible for the disappearance of the other two men since no charges have been filed.
"We don't have the names of witnesses. We don't have phone numbers to contact; we don't have addresses to visit. We just have accusations," Hawk said.
Calucag spent eight months in federal prison after pleading guilty in 1995 to five counts of bank fraud in which he deposited bogus checks into accounts he opened using false names and withdrawing the money, according to federal court documents. He spent an additional 16 months in federal prison after admitting he bought a sport utility vehicle and obtained leases on computers using false names and false credit histories while on parole.