A Kula woman who had been scheduled to be sentenced Monday afternoon in federal court for her role in a Ponzi scheme was instead ordered to spend the night in federal jail until a hearing could be held today to determine who will represent her in court, an FBI official said Monday.
Jedidah Duarosan, who also is known as Jedidah Abara, walked into the Oahu courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright for her sentencing on Monday afternoon, for a Ponzi scheme in 2006 that bilked six Maui investors out of $882,000.
But then Duarosan promptly fired her attorney and asked to be represented by a man that she claimed to be a federal judge named David Miller, who was present in the courtroom, said Honolulu FBI Special Agent Tom Simon.
Seabright informed Duarosan that Miller was neither an attorney nor a judge and could not represent her. Seabright allowed the defendant to fire her public defender and ordered that a new attorney be appointed, Simon added.
Salina Kanai Althof, a public defender listed on court records to have represented Duarosan, could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.
Seabright ordered Duarosan, who was free after posting bond, to be held in federal jail overnight until a new hearing today at 10:30 a.m. to determine who or if anyone represents the defendant.
Duarosan was arrested last year after a Honolulu FBI Financial Crimes Team investigation led to her indictment on a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the indictment, Duarosan worked with a San Francisco-area resident in making investment pitches. Duarosan kept some of the money for herself and also made a wire transfer of some of the money to the Mainland bank account of someone who had earlier invested with the San Francisco resident.