FBI Manhunt for Kauai Fugitive Intensifies
|FBI Honolulu January 14, 2013|
Vida G. Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is seeking the public’s help in providing information leading to the arrest of fugitive Peter Heckman.
This week, the FBI announced a new reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Heckman’s capture in conjunction with a new Internet wanted poster and a social media campaign using Facebook and Twitter designed to attract international interest in the manhunt. The FBI Press Office Twitter feed has over 500,000 worldwide followers, and the Facebook page has over 300,000 subscribers.
In July 2007, Heckman was indicted by federal grand jury in Honolulu on seven counts of wire fraud relating to an investment scheme he allegedly operated on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The indictment alleges that Heckman operated a failing recording studio on Kauai and offered potential investors guaranteed returns of 10 to 15 percent for terms as short as two weeks. Heckman allegedly raised over $1.2 million from investors while creating the illusion of legitimate investment returns by paying early investors with funds from later investors in what is commonly known as a Ponzi scheme.
Heckman became aware of the imminent criminal charges and fled Hawaii immediately prior to his indictment. In 2010, the FBI was able to track Heckman to the Indonesian island of Bali, where he was operating a recording studio and had launched a record label producing albums for musical artists in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Peter Heckman is 63 years old, 5’7” tall, 200 pounds, with gray hair and blue eyes. He is a German national who often uses the first name “Hans” and sometimes spells his last name “Heckmann” to mask his true identity while marketing his recording production services.
The statutory maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison per count.
Anyone recognizing Heckman or having information as to his current location is asked to call the Honolulu FBI at 808-566-4300. Photos of the fugitive and a wanted poster are available at www.fbi.gov.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.