Washington man charged with fraud owns Princeville parcels

A man being held in a Seattle federal detention center awaiting an October trial for fraud and other charges is the owner of several pieces of land at Princeville.

The total assessed value of the four parcels that county real property tax records show belong to Kevin L. Lawrence or Kevin Lawrence, is over $1.4 million.

But U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agents were only able to identify two Kaua’i properties owned by Lawrence, also known as Kevin Lawrence Millar, those being adjacent properties along Kaweonui Road.

Lawrence is in federal custody after being charged in a 64-count indictment with, among other offenses, criminal securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy charges, allegedly for defrauding over 5,000 investors of more than $72 million, according to the SEC.

The U.S. attorney for the western district of Washington said three other defendants have entered guilty pleas as part of a multi-agency federal investigation, and are cooperating in the case against Lawrence.

The SEC filed an emergency action earlier this year against Lawrence, as well as Znetix, Inc., Health Maintenance Centers, Inc., three related companies, their controlling executives, and several family members of Lawrence, alleging that Lawrence and other executives falsely promised investors lucrative profits from the supposedly imminent initial public offering of Znetix.

Additionally, the SEC alleged that Lawrence spent more than $14 million of investor funds on personal expenses, such as luxury cars, real estate, jewelry and boats.

According to minutes from a pre-trial detention hearing held last week in Seattle, Lawrence after his assets were frozen in federal court contacted real estate agents in Hawai’i to sell his Kaua’i properties.

According to Kaua’i county real property tax record, Lawrence is owner of adjacent properties, 3657 Kaweonui Rd. and 3665 Kaweonui Rd., another at 3924 Kamehameha Rd., and another 20.74 acres of vacant land for which no address was listed.

But the SEC when it got court permission to freeze Lawrence’s assets earlier this year only knew about the two Kaweonui Road parcels, one a 14,166-square-foot parcel with a 1,966-square-foot home on it, with an assessed value of $516,700, and the adjacent vacant lot of 13,288 square feet, assessed at $346,300.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Lawrence without incident earlier this month on Bainbridge Island, Wash., and last week a federal judge ordered him held without bail until an October trial date in federal court.

The total charges carry maximum sentences of up to 560 years in prison for Lawrence, 37.

The SEC has agreed to put off the civil part of the case until the criminal matter is completed, said Nick Morgan, senior trial counsel with the Los Angeles SEC office.

The SEC is working to get judgments to get money back for people allegedly defrauded by Lawrence or his associates, Morgan added.

In addition to the Kaweonui Road parcels, Morgan said Lawrence had put money into escrow accounts for two other Princeville parcels, one along Kaweonui Road and another on Kamehameha Road, but the escrows on both of those transactions were canceled.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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