Semisub owner facing federal charges nabbed after fleeing in vessel

Jan. 7—The owner of the Semisub tour boat company who fled Oahu on his ailing vessel earlier this week was apprehended by U.S. Marshals today.

The owner of the Semisub tour boat company earlier this week—after being charged with federal securities fraud and released on pretrial bond last October—was apprehended by U.S. Marshals today.

Curtiss Jackson, 69, who the Justice Department alleged misspent a good part of the $28 million he raised from investors to fund his semi-clear-bottomed boat project, disembarked from the Semisub One in Kewalo Harbor this morning, his hands cuffed behind him as a helmeted U.S. Marshal, gripping a military-style rifle in one hand, guided Jackson with the other.

Jackson was flanked by Coast Guard members and another U.S. Marshal, who had a rifle with a suppressor attached, dangling from his chest and a plastic bag in his hand which appeared to contain Jackson's belongings.

"Mind your own business, " Jackson told a Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter, as a state Harbor Police officer patted him down, untucking his gray polo from his faded blue jeans, before ushering him into the back of a police SUV.

When asked about apprehending Jackson, a U.S. Marshal said quietly, "It went pretty well."

The Justice Department has charged Curtiss Jackson, 69, and his wife, Jamey Denise Jackson, 59, with federal securities fraud, a felony.

Prosecutors alleged that the Jacksons took investors' money over the course of a decade, all the while asserting that their prototype vessel with a partially clear hull would launch soon. In the meantime, prosecutors said, the Jacksons spent investors' money on psychics, cannabis, luxury residences, personal credit card bills and a Mercedes-Benz.

Hawaii District Judge Rom Trader released Jackson on $50, 000 bond in October, requiring that he not leave Oahu, not contact anyone involved in the case, refrain from using drugs, and not leave his house after a curfew.

The federal government sought to detain Jackson before his trial, set for October 2023, citing concerns that he might flee and pose a risk to his wife and investors. Prosecutors alleged that Jackson had already violated his conditions of release by asking investors to send him money and assaulting his son.

A bail review hearing for Jackson had been scheduled for Thursday, but it was "vacated " that day, to be "reset as appropriate, " according to court records.

Jackson's attorney, Harlan Kimura, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jamey Jackson's attorney, Bentley C. Adams III, declined to comment.

The U.S. Marshals Service and the Honolulu U.S. Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Coast Guard public affairs specialist Ryan Fisher said he was preparing a joint news release with the U.S. Marshals Service that would be released later today.