From our reporting partners at CrimePAY$/Reward$TV.net
Updated 12:57 a.m. EST, Jan. 17, 2013
HONOLULU — The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a new campaign and offered a new reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of Peter Heckman, a former Kaua‘i resident accused of operating a Ponzi scheme out of his recording studio.
Heckman — who also went as “Peter Heckmann” on Kaua‘i —was indicted in July, 2007, by a federal grand jury in Honolulu on seven counts of wire fraud. He’s accused of raising over $1.2 million from investors before the scheme collapsed.Vida Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Honolulu Office, said Monday that the reward, in conjunction with a new Internet wanted poster and a social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter, is designed to attract international interest in the manhunt.
Heckman lived on Ohu Road in Kapa‘a and operated Heckman Multimedia Productions in the C. Ahko professional building in Kapa‘a.
In a 2002 article in The Garden Island, Heckmann, originally from Frankfurt, Germany, said he relocated to Kaua‘i from New York City in 1997 with his wife and two children. He opened a music studio and also hoped to lure movie studios to do editing and production on Kaua‘i by offering the equipment they would need.
He told investors that he was buying new computers, putting software on them to make them attractive to movie studios, and then renting them to movie production crews at high rates.
He raised the money by offering potential investors returns of 10 to 15 percent in as little as two weeks, and paid out to the original investors with funds from later investors, FBI officials said.
According to Special Agent Tom Simon of the Honolulu FBI Press Office, dozens of Heckman’s victims were Kaua‘i retirees.
“The size and audacity of the crime is pretty shocking and the FBI is interested in making sure that we catch him,” said Simon. “We will do everything within our power to bring him to justice.”
When Heckman became aware of imminent criminal charges he fled Hawai‘i immediately prior to his indictment, Simon added.
In 2010, the FBI was able to track Heckman to the Indonesian island of Bali. He was reportedly operating a recording studio and launched a record label producing albums for musical artists in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Heckman is 63 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 200 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes. He is a German national who often uses the first name “Hans” and sometimes spells his last name “Heckmann” to mask his true identity while marketing his recording production services.
Anyone recognizing Heckman or having information as to his current location is asked to call the Honolulu FBI at 808-566-4300. Photos of the fugitive and a wanted poster are available at http://www.fbi.gov.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The statutory maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison per count.
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