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Founders of semi-sub company accused of $28-million securities fraud scam

<i>KITV</i><br/>A couple is accused of swindling over 28-million dollars from more than 400 people -- over empty promises.
Diane Ako/KITV
KITV
A couple is accused of swindling over 28-million dollars from more than 400 people -- over empty promises.

By Matthew Nuttle

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    HONOLULU, Hawaii (KITV) — A married couple has been charged with securities fraud after the US Department of Justice said they duped hundreds of investors out of more than $28 million in a decade-long semi-submersible vessel scheme.

Curtiss E. Jackson, 69, of Honolulu, and Jamey Denise Jackson, 59, currently of Lake Worth, Florida, and formerly of Honolulu, are accused of fraudulently obtaining money by lying to investors about their company’s business and operations, including its revenue and expenses, according to court documents.

The investors purchased securities in the Jackson’s Hawaii-based company Semisub Inc.

According to the unsealed indictment, Curtiss and Denise – who served as CEO and President of the company respectively – raised over $28 million from more than 400 investors over more than 10 years. During that time, the DOJ says the Jackson’s falsely told investors that their prototype vessel, called “Semisub One,”’ was “weeks” or “months” away from beginning operations.

The couple is also accused of lying to investors about being in business with or having developed relationships with government agencies and a well-known private equity firm to build and sell a fleet of additional vessels for $32 million each, according to investigators.

The DOJ says the Jackson’s used the money they raised to buy luxury homes in California and Hawaii, as well as luxury cars, vacations, marijuana, and other personal bills and expenses.

Curtiss Jackson and Jamey Jackson are each charged with securities fraud, conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Curtiss made his initial court appearance on Monday in the US District Court for the District of Hawaii. Jamey made her initial court appearance on Monday in the US District Court for the District of Connecticut. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation division are investigating this case

Anyone who thinks they may be a victim in this case is asked to call the USPIS victim hotline at 202-305-6736.

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