Scammer held without bail


There will be no bail for a 32-year-old Hilo man accused of scamming investors of more than $1 million in a so-called “advance fee” scheme.

In a ruling filed Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi found that Justin Wade Smith is a flight risk and ordered that he be held without bail. Smith has pleaded not guilty to 39 counts of wire fraud and is scheduled for trial Oct. 29 before U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright.

Puglisi also granted the Federal Public Defender’s motion to withdraw as defense counsel and appointed Honolulu attorney Todd Eddins to represent Smith. The PD’s office said that federal budget cuts due to sequestration would hamper its ability to defend Smith.

 

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