Honolulu man held without bail on identity-theft charges
By Ken Kobayashi
Advertiser Courts Writer
By Ken Kobayashi
A Honolulu man was ordered held without bail yesterday on charges of identity theft involving a Kaua'i man who was last known to be in the Philippines and has been missing for months.
Henry Ponce Jacinto Calucag Jr., also known as Hank Jacinto, was released when he posted $50,000 in cash for his bail last week. City Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter yesterday asked that Calucag be held without bail, maintaining that he lacks credibility and might flee.
Van Marter cited Calucag's previous 1995 federal conviction of bank fraud and then getting sent back to prison because he violated terms of his supervisory release.
Honolulu District Judge Fa'auuga To'oto'o granted the prosecution request.
Calucag's lawyer, Jeffrey Hawk, had asked for modifications to his bail to allow his client to travel to the Philippines, where he conducts business. "If he's not allowed to go, he'll be bankrupt," Hawk said.
But the judge denied that defense request, saying Calucag might flee. Calucag was immediately taken into custody.
Calucag is charged with first-degree identity theft, first-degree theft and second-degree forgery. He is accused of using a notarized document signed by John Elwin in April to transfer property on Kaua'i to Calucag.
But the underlying mystery in the case is what happened to Elwin. According to an affidavit filed by police, Calucag was the last person to see Elwin in the Philippines.
Van Marter said law enforcement here and elsewhere are still trying to locate Elwin, but declined to discuss details other than to say "his disappearance appears to be suspicious."
Robert F. Miller, one of Calucag's lawyers, testified that Calucag has legitimate business interests here and in the Philippines. He also said Elwin was known to have women friends and to drink.
Miller later said Elwin notified him and others in March or April that he was going to be leaving the country to pursue business interests and personal pleasure in Southeast Asia.
The lawyer also said his client and Elwin were polo partners and the "best of friends," and did business deals with each other.
"I think (Elwin) is just somewhere having a good time," Miller said. "I don't think there's any foul play. If there is, it has nothing to do with my client."
Reach Ken Kobayashi at email@example.com.