Philippines sends fugitive
back to isles

Agents nab a vendor of illegal
cable boxes who has been at
large since February 2001

MANILA » The Philippines' immigration bureau said Thursday it has deported one of Hawaii's most wanted fugitives.

Michael Van Hohenstein, 50, was put on a commercial flight Monday to Honolulu, Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez said in a statement.

Fernandez said immigration agents arrested Van Hohenstein Aug. 12 at his house in Nagcarlan town, 43 miles southeast of Manila, at the request of the U.S. Embassy, which advised that he has an outstanding arrest warrant issued by a Honolulu court.

In March 2002, Van Hohenstein, 45, entered the U.S. Marshals Services most-wanted list in Hawaii.

He was sentenced in August 2000 to 48 months in federal prison for 63 counts of conspiracy to sell illegal cable boxes, money laundering and tax evasion.

Van Hohenstein had advertised the illegal cable descramblers in local and national publications including Pennysaver and Popular Mechanics, selling the devices at $250 to $350 apiece.

As a part of his sentencing, Van Hohenstein also forfeited more than $1 million seized from a safe in his home and thousands of illegal cable boxes and was ordered to pay $10,000 in damages to Oceanic Cablevision.

Officials from the Marshals Service said Van Hohenstein had served most of his sentence and was under supervised release when he disappeared in February 2001.

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