Interview with FBI Special Agent Highlights Hawaii Investment Fraud

A recent interview with an FBI special agent in Hawaii highlights the many recent investment scams in the state and investments that are “too good to be true.”

The Honolulu Star Advertiser recently featured an interview with Tom Simon, an FBI special agent and the spokesperson for the FBI’s Honolulu office, which should be of interest to investors in Hawaii and across the nation. Simon answered questions related to investment fraud, and expressed the importance of investor education. Simon stated that Hawaii has seen an “astoundingly high” number of investment scams in the last several years, and he urged residents to ask more questions before trusting anyone with their investments.

During the interview, Simon pointed to several recent cases of Hawaii investment fraud, including:

  • The case of Joseph Sullivan, who allegedly took millions from Hawaii investors by promising returns of 18% on fake certificates of deposit.
  • The case of Patrick Rakotananahary, who allegedly claimed to be a foreign currency expert and took in about $10 million from around 100 investors in Hawaii in a Ponzi scheme.
  • The case of Perry and Rachelle Griggs, who allegedly ran an investment scam that targeted family members whose loved ones were in federal prison and took in millions of dollars from Hawaii residents.

When asked what investors can do to avoid becoming victims of these kinds of scams, Simon stated that “Investors need to take a close look at investment opportunities that appear too good to be true. There is no such thing as a high rate of return coupled with low risk. If I could get that message through to the people of Hawaii, I’d be a lot less busy.”


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