Arrest Warrants Ordered For Members of Maui Sovereignty Group

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BY JIM DOOLEY – Three of five members of a Maui Hawaiian sovereignty group indicted last month on federal fraud charges failed to appear in federal court today and bench warrants were ordered for their arrests.

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang ordered the arrests of Mahealani Ventura-Oliver, 42, her husband, John Oliver, 46, and Pilialoha Teves, 49.


Two other defendants, Peter Hoy, 76, and Leatrice Hoy, 52, entered not guilty pleas before Chang.

The defendants are members of Maui-based groups called Hawaiiloa Foundation, Ko Hawaii Pae Aina and The Registry.

They were indicted last month on 25 criminal charges that include fraud, money-laundering and tax offenses.

Federal Deputy Public Defender Alexander Silvert appeared at the hearing on behalf of Ventura-Oliver, although he said she has not formally agreed to his representation of her.

Silvert told Chang that Ventura-Oliver had not contacted his office about the case against her.

He argued against issuance of the arrest warrants, saying the judge could re-issue criminal summons ordering the appearance of the defendants.

But Chang said he was ordering their arrests.

An officer from the federal pre-trial services office told Chang that John Oliver claimed in a telephone conversation that he was homeless because his wife and kicked him out of their house.

He also said he would consider appearing in court if he was provided with free airline tickets and if his appearance date was set for February 2047.

Oliver also said he did not want to be represented by court-appointed defense lawyer Jeffrey Arakaki.

Dana Ishibashi, lawyer for Peter Hoy, said the Hoys are themselves victims in the case.

“He doesn’t want people to believe what’s being said about him,” Ishibashi said after the hearing.

“My client and his wife lost their house because they were so convinced these people could help them,” said Ishibashi.

Leatrice Hoy was employed for a time as “in a clerical job” for the Olivers, “not knowing what they were actually doing,” said Ishibashi.

“As soon as she figured it out, she cut her ties to them,” the lawyer said.

“In fact, she gathered materials together and gave them to the FBI,” Ishibashi said.

In a news conference last month, U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni alleged that the defendants collected $468,000 in “kokua” payments from their victims beween 2008 and 2110,  holding private meetings about “a debt assistance program which they claimed could eliminate mortgage, credit card and other debt.”

The indictment alleged that the defendants told their followers that all indviduals hold “special reserves” in the U.S. Treasury which could be used to “zero out” debts.

They allegedly issued fictitious bonds, promissory notes and money orders “which they falsely claimed were backed by the U.S. Treasury and State of Hawaii,” the government alleged.

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been investigating the group since 2009.

Ko Hawaii Pae Aina claims on its website,, that it represents a sovereign nation “comprised of all of the landed property belonging to Hawaiiloa a great Navigator King and founder of Pacific trade, commerce and oceanic development within the Pacific Triangle and outer Pacific Rim.”




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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at


  1. So the Hoys are victims in this case?
    Don’t make me laugh, he has never been a “victim” in his miserable little life, he has been conning people for over 50 years, he is and always has been a pathalogical liar. He is also well spoken and well read I grant you though that’s about it. He has NEVER been to university (unless you count the one in his mind) and and was only ever an “Ambassador” to himself. he wasn’t an Orphan and wasn’t brought up my monks in Tibbet, (oh it made me laugh when I heard about that I can tell you). He isn’t Swedish, or German either, he is English as were his parents though even his wife believes that drivvel. They have never gone into anything without knowing exactly what they were doing and who they were doing it to, his wife admittedly is not nearly as clever as he is but he groomed her for years and she is, almost though not quite, as bad as he is. I suppose you could say she is a victim, but only of him, she still knew what she was doing.
    He has said many times that the Americans are stupid people and has conned them out of more money than you could imagine, I seriously doubt they “lost” the house, he is way too clever to have let that happen. I hope with all my heart that he doesn’t get to worm his way out of this latest scam.
    You should have stuck to the Army Peter, you never know, it may have made an honest man of you and you wouldn’t now be in this mess, I just hope you think it was all worth it!!

    • Hi Jody,

      It seems like you know a lot about Petro Hoy and his wife Leatrice Hoy. I have had the unfortunate experience of running into them myself. How do you know them? How did Petro Hoy become such a complusive liar?

      • Hi Rianiday127

        Yes I know a lot about them because I have the misfortune to be one of his daughters (though not hers) and none of us speak to him.
        As for how he became such a compulsive liar, he always has been even when he was married to my mum and he always will be till the day he dies, he honestly doesn’t know how to tell the truth.

  2. By the way raniday127 Sorry for late reply, haven’t been on here for a while. Are there any updates on the trial do you or anyone know?



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