BY JIM DOOLEY – Law enforcement agencies here are investigating two men for alleged financial abuse of elderly women, Hawaii Reporter has learned.
One case involves businessman Daniel Doi, the target of several legal complaints filed in the past two years by state regulators and the Attorney General’s office.
“We’re going to request that the Circuit Court issues a permanent injunction against Mr. Doi,” Deputy Attorney General C. Bryan Fitzgerald said today.
The action comes after a Washington D.C. resident, Elizabeth Pierotti, complained to state officials and Honolulu police about Doi’s attempts to sell financial services to Pierotti’s 85-year-old aunt in Hawaii.
“When my aunt told me the story of what Mr. Doi was doing, I immediately Googled his name and up popped a 2010 story in Hawaii Reporter about him,” Pierotti said.
The story concerned a legal complaint filed against Doi by the Attorney General’s office, alleging that he was engaged in the unauthorized sales of legal service plans and that his sales activities “deceived elderly consumers.”
Pierotti said she called contact numbers contained in the story and spoke with officials in the Attorney General’s office and the state Insurance Division.
Doi did not respond to a request for comment left today on his cell phone.
Pierotti said her aunt told her Doi visited her home “several times” and offered to sell her products involving “Medicaid eligibility” and “asset protections trusts,” eventually convincing her to pay him $15,000 “for what he said were legal fees.”
“She wrote him a check, he cashed it and then he wanted her to take money out of her reverse mortgage account and put it in a different account,” Pierotti said.
“My aunt called the mortgage company to withdraw the funds, but they questioned her about the withdrawal and said it didn’t sound right,” Pierotti continued.
“My aunt called me and that’s when I researched Mr. Doi. I called him and said I wanted him to refund the money to my aunt because I was going to contact the authorities about what he was doing,” she said.
“He did refund the money, which had been paid to a company called Kupuna Group, Inc.,” she said.
A letter accompanying the refund check said Pierotti’s aunt, by accepting the refund, agreed “not to pursue any legal action or complaint” against Kupuna Group or its officers or agents.
“I think what he is doing is outrageous. The elderly are easy prey and are reluctant to come forward when they’ve been victimized,” Pierotti sazid.
Doi’s personal profile on the LinkedIn website says he is “an Account Executive for Kupuna Group Inc., where he leverages a rich degree of expertise in the field of prepaid legal services.”
According to state business registration records, Kupuna Group is “not in good standing” with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The company did not file a required annual report with the state last year and its 2012 report is also unfiled.
Pierotti also said Honolulu police are investigating Doi’s activities but HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu today declined comment on the matter.
Yu did confirm that the department is investigating another man, Jeffrey Mora, accused in state court papers of taking more than $100,000 – including $46,000 in “reverse mortgage funds”– from 94-year-old Waikiki resident Ellen Kimoto.
Well-known local businesswoman Lynne Madden, Kimoto’s niece, appeared in state District Court yesterday, seeking a court order preventing Mora from further contact with Kimoto.
Mora denied any wrongdoing but agreed to a three-year restraining order.
He did not respond today to a telephoned request for comment.
In seeking the order, Madden said Mora “befriended Ms. Kimoto and convinced her to have him become her ‘caregiver’ and assisted her with some chores and transportation.”
Madden said Mora “alienated (Kimoto) from her family members to gain easy access to Ms. Kimoto’s funds.”
The family has complained to police that, since 2011, Mora received checks and cash from Kimoto totaling $116,500.
“Mr. Mora has also attempted to access funds linked to Ms. Kimoto’s reverse mortgage by claiming to have power-of-attorney for Ms. Kimoto,” Madden alleged.
Between January and April 2012, Mora “absconded with $46,000” of Kimoto’s reverse mortgage money and would have taken $80,000 “if he had not been stopped by her family with the assistance of the (state office of) Adult Protective Services,” Madden said in the court papers.
He also allegedly opened a joint credit card account with Kimoto, charged some $10,000 and then failed to pay the bill, Madden said.
Mora allegedly admitted to an Adult Protective Services worker that he had taken $98,000 from Kimoto, according to Madden.