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Posted: Thursday, August 29th, 2013 11:34 AM HST

Federal public defender refuses Hilo man's scam case

By Associated Press

HILO, Hawaii (AP) The Federal Public Defender's office in Honolulu has turned down a Hilo man's wire fraud case because of budget cuts. This marks the first case the office turned down because of federal budget constraints known as sequestration.

First Assistant Federal Public Defender Alexander Silvert says in a motion filed in court this week that his office doesn't have the resources to defend Justin Wade Smith. The 32-year-old Hilo man is accused of scamming investors out of more than $1 million. Silvert says his office has notified the court they'll be refusing to take certain cases.

A judge will appoint a private attorney for Smith, at the expense of taxpayers. He is scheduled for trial next month on 39 counts of wire fraud.

He's being held without bail.

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