The FBI arrested Edmond Abordo of Honolulu Monday in connection with a federal grand jury indictment charging that he allegedly forged the signature of a federal judge in order to trick a woman into paying him thousands of dollars for bogus legal services.

According to the indictment, Abordo used the forged signature and a federal court seal to create a phony court order, which he then used to prove to the victim that he had pulled her Ewa Beach home out of foreclosure. Abordo allegedly claimed to be a legal expert, which he was not.

The FBI began an investigation after the Hawaii District Court’s Clerk’s Office learned of the forged court order containing the signature and seal of U.S. Chief District Judge Derrick Watson.

The indictment alleges that Abordo met the elderly victim in late 2017 and described himself to her as a “non-licensed attorney” who could help her prevent foreclosure. Abordo, who is not a lawyer and has no legal training, claimed that he had expertise on mortgages and adverse possession. He convinced the victim to file a federal lawsuit challenging the foreclosure of her home. Nearly each time that Abordo met with the victim, he demanded a cash payment of between $1,000 and $3,000.

Abordo convinced the victim that a federal judge had awarded her possession of her home and that he would not give her the court order until she paid him additional money, according to the indictment. In reality, the victim’s home had been lost to foreclosure and the federal lawsuit had been dismissed months earlier. The victim, believing Abordo had a real court order, paid him thousands of dollars in exchange for the forged court order.

“Trust in our court system is paramount to our society,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Merrill. “When individuals forge court documents and victimize our kupuna, the FBI will aggressively pursue those individuals to maintain the public’s confidence in the court system and protect the vulnerable.”

Abordo was arraigned on the indictment by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman and entered a plea of not guilty. Judge Newman detained Abordo temporarily and ordered him to appear before U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill on January 19, 2023 for a motion hearing.

 

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