Former Maui mayoral candidate Nelson Waikiki Jr. is being accused of making misrepresentations to people to get them to invest in a water utility called Opunui Water Co. and Opunui Land and Water Co.
The allegations come from Hawaii Securities Commissioner Tung Chan, who has issued a preliminary order to cease and desist the sale of unregistered securities and a notice of a right to a hearing against Waikiki, who made a failed bid for mayor in 2006. (In the primary election that year, he received 263 votes or less than 1 percent of the total votes cast.)
Waikiki could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Chan's order alleges that, from October 2008 to December, Waikiki solicited investors for an enterprise called a "water-selling system" or "water utility company."
"Nelson Waikiki Jr. allegedly misrepresented to investors that as a result of his involvement in U.S. congressional hearings, Congress was about to approve a process of law that would require every developer and private landowner in the entire state to go through Opunui Water for 'all water usage.'
"In reality, the respondents had acquired neither federal nor state permits for a 'water-selling system,' '' according to a statement from Chan.
Chan's order also alleges that Waikiki represented to investors that the enterprise was endorsed by U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and other politicians, and that "President Barack Obama was his business partner; none of which was true."
Funds raised by Waikiki and his company were taken for his personal use, Chan said.
Waikiki and his company sold and continued to offer for sale unregistered securities in the form of investment contracts to seven Hawaii investors and violated the state's anti-fraud provisions, according to Chan.
Chan's order seeks a civil penalty of $200,000, in addition to a permanent injunction against transacting securities in the state.
Anyone who has been solicited or transacted business with Waikiki, Opunui Water and/or Opunui Land or who may have information is urged to contact the State Securities Enforcement Branch.
On Maui, the branch can be reached by calling 984-2400, followed by 62740 and the # sign. On Molokai and Lanai, call (800) 468-4644, followed by 62740, followed by the # sign. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.