A Kaua‘i resident offered testimony in a Honolulu courtroom yesterday against the man accused of stealing the identity of John Elwin, who was found murdered in the Philippines last year.
Henry Calucag Jr., also known as Hank Jacinto, was charged in September with theft, computer fraud, and identity theft, for allegedly stealing nearly $250,000 worth of Elwin’s property.
Prosecutors have since filed fraudulent use of credit card charges against Jacinto, however, murder charges surrounding Elwin’s death have not been brought against any suspects. That aspect of the case is still being investigated, according to Prosecuting Attorney Chris Van Marter.
Luis Soltren, who in April of 2006 had become suspicious of Jacinto and looked into the status of property that was willed to Elwin’s daughter, was a longtime friend of Elwin.
Knowing something wasn’t right when Elwin wasn’t returning phone calls, Soltren investigated and found Elwin’s property was in Jacinto’s name, according to court documents.
Elwin’s credit card statements also demonstrated something was awry, as they were still being used after Elwin was reported missing.
Yesterday — day seven of the trial — was the first day in which Soltren and Kirsten Flood, Elwin’s girlfriend, were called as witnesses. The case is expected to continue at least one more week.
Jacinto has a long rap sheet, which runs the gamut from foreclosure to bank fraud, the latter of which he was convicted in July 1996.
Dating back to 1980, Jacinto faced several lawsuits, including debt complaints filed by plaintiffs Pioneer Federal Savings & Loan and Citibank.
In 2000, he was put on five-years probation, according to court records.
In connection with the Elwin case, Jacinto was arrested Sept. 3 on forgery and theft charges. Officers approached him while he was using six of Elwin’s horses at Waimanalo Polo Fields as though they were his own.
Though he initially tried to get away from law enforcement on his golf cart, he was arrested without incident. The arrest came after officials tried to track him down at his “home address,” which turned out to be nonexistent — nothing more than a tennis court and water tank.
In addition to telling other Kaua‘i residents he was a polo player, testimony gathered by the prosecution and contained in the court file states many believed Jacinto came from a wealthy Filipino family and that he had a handful of successful businesses in the Philippines.
Several Web sites that were up and running last year, that named Jacinto as a founder, chairperson or president, have since been dismantled. However, Internet archives show Jacinto was in several top positions in online enterprises, one of which had a mission statement claiming to solicit money for orphans, and another that claimed to offer e-business solutions for American and Filipino clients.
In addition to the commonality of having Jacinto’s name on the Web sites, several listed the same post office drop box listed as an address for sending correspondence or donations.
Those listed among the corporate officers include Douglas Ho, who has been missing since January 2005, and Debbie Anagaran, Jacinto’s girlfriend, who has been living in the residence of another man who disappeared more than a decade ago, Arthur Young. Both Ho and Young were said to have been reported missing after traveling to the Philippines.
The trial will resume today in Circuit Judge Michael Town’s courtroom in Honolulu.
• Amanda C. Gregg, assistant editor/staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or firstname.lastname@example.org.