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Press Release

Shipbuilding Company CEO Charged with Witness Tampering and Obstruction

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A federal grand jury in Honolulu returned a superseding indictment yesterday charging a Hawaii man with obstruction, witness tampering, and structuring, while awaiting trial on previous charges of securities fraud, conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. 

According to the superseding indictment, on Jan. 4, Curtiss Jackson, 70, of Honolulu, allegedly obstructed an official proceeding for fleeing the United States’ territorial waters aboard the Semisub One, a semisubmersible vessel controlled by Jackson’s company, Semisub Inc. Semisub One was the subject of forfeiture proceedings in the District of Hawaii in connection with Jackson’s pending criminal case. On the day before his flight, Jackson also allegedly withdrew more than $24,000 in cash from multiple checking transactions in a manner designed to avoid federal bank reporting requirements. 

Additionally, Jackson allegedly sent a death threat to a co-conspirator during the grand jury’s original investigation. The text message contained a link to an online video entitled “Death of FBI Informants” containing clips from a television series depicting the deaths of several characters on the show who had cooperated with the FBI.

Jackson’s case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, except for the structuring charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Jackson is charged with committing obstruction and structuring while on pre-trial release, which carries an additional consecutive sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors for the District of Hawaii, Inspector in Charge Eric Shen of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Criminal Investigations Group, and Special Agent in Charge Adam Jobes of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Seattle Field Office made the announcement.

The USPIS and IRS-CI are investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Matthew Reilly and Christopher Fenton of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aislinn Affinito for the District of Hawaii are prosecuting the case.

If you believe you are a victim in this case, please contact the USPIS victim hotline at (202) 305-6736.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated October 13, 2023

Topics
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Press Release Number: 23-1129