Six men implicated in counterfeiting ring

The Maui News – Federal prison sentences ranging from nine months to 3-1/2 years have been imposed for six Maui men implicated in a ring that manufactured counterfeit bills that were passed at more than a dozen Maui businesses.

Three other defendants are awaiting sentencing in connection with the counterfeiting operation that ran from about June 2015 to January 2016, according to federal court records.

Sherwin Reginaldo, 36, who was identified as an organizer or leader in the operation, was sentenced to the 3-1/2 year prison term on Aug. 2 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

He and eight others pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pass counterfeit currency.

According to an indictment returned in January, Reginaldo, Paul Oda and Brent Nishijo used a household computer printer to make counterfeit $20 and $50 bills, primarily at Nishijo’s residence in Kahului.

The men bleached $1 bills, then scrubbed the ink off the bills before printing a scanned image of real bills onto the bleached money, according to the indictment.

Nishijo, 29, was sentenced Aug. 30 to an 18-month prison term. His incarceration was delayed until Oct. 11.

Oda, 44, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14.

Mauro Castillo, 39, is serving a nine-month prison term imposed at his Aug. 16 sentencing. He used a counterfeit $50 bill to make a purchase at Chevron in Pukalani on Nov. 29, 2015, according to court records.

Earl Naki, 39, was sentenced to a one-year jail term on Aug. 8. Court records say he used a counterfeit $50 bill at Still Smokin’ cigar shop in Kahului on Sept. 15, 2015.

James Kenui, 45, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after using a counterfeit $20 bill to make a purchase at Ace Hardware in Kihei, court records show.

Benjamin Sagaysay, 46, was ordered to turn himself in Oct. 23 to serve a prison term of one year and one day. He was sentenced Sept. 11 for passing counterfeit bills at various locations on Maui, according to court records.

The sentences for the defendants included three years of supervised release after they complete their prison terms.

Other defendants awaiting sentencing include Sheron Garcia, 33, and Shaun Oda, 38.

Jason Auweloa, 29, is awaiting trial.

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