Fraud case is deja vu for crook


POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Henry Calucag Jr. was sentenced in September 2007 to prison for stealing the identity and land belonging to John Elwin, a Kauai businessman.

Elwin was found in the Philippines with gunshot wounds to his head, five months after relatives reported him missing in May 2006. The killing remains unsolved.

Now, Calucag, along with Debra Anagaran, is charged for allegedly fraudulent acquisition of a home that belonged to Honolulu resident Arthur Spooner Young.

Like Elwin, Young was reported missing after he traveled to the Philippines in 1990 at the request of Calucag, also known as Hank Jacinto.

Calucag and Anagaran were recently indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to commit money laundering, four counts of money laundering, and one count each of wire fraud and mail fraud. If convicted of the money laundering charges, both face up to 20 years in prison on each count and a $500,000 fine.

They also face up to 20 years in prison on each count for wire and mail fraud and a $250,000 fine.

FBI agents arrested Anagaran — described as Calucag's girlfriend — on Guam on Monday after she arrived from the Philippines.

She is expected to be transported to Hawaii to make a court appearance next week. Calucag, incarcerated at a private facility in Arizona, is expected to be transported back to Hawaii within a few weeks, said U.S. Assistant Attorney William Shipley.

According to the indictment, the couple fraudulently caused Young to transfer the title of his St. Louis Heights home to Anagaran. The Peter Street house remains under Anagaran's name. The government is seeking forfeiture of the house and $750,000.

Young was to invest $70,000 in Calucag's helicopter sales business, Rotorcraft Industries, the indictment said, and Calucag misrepresented his business as being associated with Rotorway Aircraft, a legitimate sales business in Arizona.

In March 1990, the couple told Young that he could obtain the $70,000 to invest in Calucag's business if he transferred the title of his St. Louis Heights home. The indictment stated that he agreed to a temporary transfer title so he could invest in the business.

According to the indictment, he told Young he sold two helicopters to buyers in the Philippines. Young was to receive $80,000 in commission from the helicopter sale if he traveled to the Philippines to accept the money in person. On Oct. 12, 1990, Young traveled to the country and hasn't been heard from since.

Within two months of his disappearance, authorities said Anagaran demanded that Young's family members leave his St. Louis Heights home before she and Calucag moved in. In January 2004, Anagaran received $350,316 for the sale of the Peter Street home. She gave three Central Pacific Bank cashier's checks totaling $350,316 to Calucag.

The indictment alleges the couple knowingly engaged in monetary transactions through financial institutions involving proceeds obtained from a criminal offense with a value greater than $10,000.

In September 2007, Calucag was sentenced to 30 years in prison after he forged a warranty deed to steal Elwin's title to his Kauai property, valued at $265,000.