Hawaii man used $1.2 million in fake checks to try to post bail

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaiian man accused of using forged bank checks totaling $1.2 million to try to bail three people out of jail has been arrested and authorities are seeking to keep him locked up without bail , according to court documents.

Samuela Tuikolongahau Jr. was detained by federal authorities on Monday and a US Secret Service affidavit filed in court alleged he presented the bank checks for $760,000, $400,000 and $50,000 in 2020 during the attempt release on bail of the three people detained at the Oahu community. Correctional Center.

He left a Honolulu courthouse after being told the checks would need to be verified, according to the court document. Authorities determined the checks were forged, and the two men and woman he tried to bail out of jail were not released.

Court documents do not specify his relationship to the three imprisoned people.

In August 2020, Tuikolongahau obtained a forged cashier’s check for $36,000 purporting to be from a credit union and attempted to use it, along with someone else’s identification, to buy a Land Rover in a used car park in Honolulu, according to the affidavit.

He also used someone else’s identification to open an online account with Charles Schwab and attempted to deposit forged and altered checks into that account, according to the court document.

Tuikolongahau was scheduled to appear in federal court on Tuesday for a hearing. Walter Rodby, his court-appointed defense attorney, did not immediately return emails and phone messages seeking comment.

According to state court records, Tuikolongahau is currently being held on $100,000 bail at the same jail from which he attempted to free the three people. He previously pleaded not guilty to charges of unauthorized possession of confidential personal information stemming from separate 2021 allegations.