Big Island resident pleads guilty in Treasury and property scams


POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2009

A Big Island man who posed as a U.S. Treasury official and agent for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to swindle people out of their money pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to mail fraud, wire fraud and impersonating an officer of the United States.

Bryan Revell said he pretended to be a Treasury issuing agent to sell a fake $20,000 Treasury bond to a woman on the Big Island, then spent the money. When the woman told him she wanted to cancel the purchase, Revell said he sent her a fake e-mail that purported to confirm the cancellation.

Revell said he also pretended to be a HUD Works agent who sold real estate for the government.

According to a federal grand jury indictment, Revell solicited and received more than $120,000 in 2005 and 2006 from individuals in Hawaii who thought he was purchasing bonds and real estate for them.

Revell collected an additional $47,000 from the woman he sold the fake bond to and $10,500 from another woman who thought they were purchasing real estate through him, the indictment said.

He sold the second woman a fake $1,000 Treasury bond that he said would yield about 7 percent interest per month, and collected another $350 from her for a purported administrative fee, according to the indictment.

In his plea agreement with the government, Revell promises to repay his victims.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in August and remains free on a $25,000 unsecured, signature bond.