“Why do you think you believed him?” asked KITV reporter Lara Yamada.
“It goes back to who you trust. It's because I take personal friendships very close. If my friend vouches for you, then I'm in,” said Michael Lew.
Lew turned out to be one of more than 30 who were befriended by Jason Pascua, then burned by lies and deceit.
On Thursday, Pascua confessed his crime.
For nearly three years, he admitted he scammed $1.6 million out of people who agreed to invest in concerts and promotions that never happened.
“To his credit, Mr. Pascua came into court today like a man, admitted his wrongdoing, and pleaded guilty. However, the sad thing is, the victims probably won't see much money back because he spent it all on himself,” said FBI spokesperson Tom Simon.
Victims said Pascua easily blended with their inner circles.
He was an Army Reservist, involved in local events, filled several local leadership spots, even made a run for state office 2010.
It all added to his being "that guy" his victims wanted to believe.
“Does this change your trust in people?” asked Yamada.
“Absolutely,” said Lew.
“I'm weak. I'm shaking,” said Jason’s dad, Robert Pascua, in March.
His son admitted in court on Thursday that he even scammed his family.
His father admitted he lost a lot of money too.
“It makes me sick and I can't do anything. I just wanted to protect the rest of my family,” said Robert Pascua.
“If you had a chance to talk to Jason, what would you want to tell him?” Yamada asked Lew.
“I don't think I could talk to him. No. I don’t think so,” said Lew.
Pascua, who now lives in Arizona, was released on bond and can return home, but under heavy restrictions.
He must return to Hawaii in September for sentencing.
Pascua faces up to 20 years behind bars for wire fraud.