by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 20, 2018) — A disabled Air Force veteran and Hawaii citizen who has reported cyberstalking, hacking, disabling of his electronic equipment and personal surveillance for nearly 18 months continues to be refused assistance by the Honolulu Police Department and the City & County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney, according to the victim.
The Post & Email has spoken with Detective Choi of the HPD and with Chris Duque, cybercrime investigator for the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, and verified that they are not currently investigating the victim’s complaints despite the fact that they appear to fall under Hawaii’s updated “Cyber Harassment & Stalking” law.
The victim was instrumental in assisting a family whose soldier relative had reported a 2013 sexual assault, after which he suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized at Walter Reed National Medical Military Hospital (WRNMMH) for approximately three years, interspersed with stays at facilities providing therapy for memory loss and other neurological impairments.
In July 2016, the soldier’s POA reported that her Yahoo! email account was hacked, along with her children’s bank accounts, her work laptop computer, and a brand-new telephone. Shortly thereafter, the Hawaii victim, who had been in regular communication with the POA, experienced the successive disabling of multiple pieces of electronic equipment, interference with costly wi-fi firewalls, and what he described as surveillance of his daily movements and telephones.
Both the Hawaii victim and POA believe that the perpetrators are connected to the U.S. military based on the sophistication of the attacks.
The Hawaii victim has visited the FBI in Kapolei on five occasions and submitted more than 20 police reports to the HPD, with new new reports filed over the last week. Many of his reports include analyses from Apple computer professionals.
The Post & Email has submitted a FOIA request to the FBI for any documentation it might possess on the victim’s complaints but failed to receive even the standard FOIA acknowledgement letter, much less any documentation.
In October, Choi and Duque told this writer that they were not actively pursuing the perpetrators of the alleged crimes. Choi stated that although the victim’s complaints were assigned to him, his expertise is in the field of “forgery.” He said that while a new HPD cybercrimes unit is under development, he referred the victim’s case to the local FBI by telephone.
Duque, for his part, said that if sufficient evidence pointing to a perpetrator or perpetrators of a crime is not received “within 30 days” of the reporting of a crime, his office does not prioritize the case. At the time we spoke with him on October 20, 2017, Duque told us that it appeared to him that the hackers could be using the resources of the federal government to commit their crimes against the victim.
He also suggested a “rogue actor” or someone from the “dark web” as a possible perpetrator.
The victim recently employed an attorney to assist him in gaining access to government services. However, following a 17-minute telephone call with Duque last week, the victim reported that Duque’s position remains that there are insufficient “resources” within the prosecuting attorney’s office to commit to identifying the perpetrators of the reported cyber-crimes.
The victim has reported business losses surpassing $140,000 and the disabling of more than 18 computers and telephones in the aggregate over the last year and a half.
There is currently an FBI investigation into corruption at the Honolulu Police Department, whose now-retired police chief, Louis Kealoha, and his wife, deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha, are targets, according to Hawaii News Now.
Coincidentally, a federal grand jury probe has been ongoing of the couple since shortly before the Hawaii resident began reporting the cybercrimes. In June 2016, the Kealohas filed a lawsuit claiming that corruption at the Hawaii Ethics Commission motivated that body’s probes into their official actions.
Earlier this month, the commission announced the resignation of its executive director, Chuck Totto.
“I’ve asked for something as simple as the police records, but the detective won’t move,” the Hawaii victim told The Post & Email. “Unless he closes the case, I can’t get the records. But he won’t act or return phone calls. It sits there and looks good on paper, but nothing gets done.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.