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13-year sentence for ex-prosecutor in Hawaii corruption case

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A former Honolulu prosecutor has been sentenced to 13 years in jail after a decide says she used her husband’s place as a police chief to border a relative for against the law he didn’t commit in a corruption case that has staggered Hawaii

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HONOLULU — A U.S. decide sentenced a former high-ranking Honolulu prosecutor to 13 years in jail Monday, saying she stole cash from her personal grandmother and used her husband’s place as a police chief to border her uncle for against the law he did not commit — all to keep up her lavish way of life.

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Katherine and Louis Kealoha, now estranged, had been as soon as a revered energy couple. Louis Kealoha, who agreed to retire amid the wide-ranging federal investigation, is scheduled to be sentenced later Monday in a separate listening to.

“This case has staggered the group in some ways,” U.S. District Decide J. Michael Seabright stated, describing how Katherine Kealoha orchestrated a reverse mortgage scheme that compelled her grandmother to promote her dwelling, framed her uncle for stealing the Kealohas’ dwelling mailbox, stole cash from youngsters whose trusts she managed as a lawyer, cheated her uncle out of his life financial savings, satisfied her firefighter lover to lie about their affair and used her place as a prosecutor to show a drug investigation away from her doctor brother.

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“Reality may be stranger than fiction,” the decide stated.

Her lawyer requested for a sentence of eight years, whereas prosecutors sought 14 years.

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A jury convicted the Kealohas final yr of conspiracy, together with two former officers who’re scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

To keep away from a second trial, the Kealohas later pleaded responsible to financial institution fraud, saying they offered false data to acquire loans.

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Katherine Kealoha, 51, additionally pleaded responsible to an identification theft cost, saying she bought a police officer to forge a police report she used to clarify adverse data on a credit score report. She additionally pleaded responsible to a cost that concerned defending her brother from the drug investigation.

In a letter to the decide, she blamed a prescription drug dependancy for clouding her judgement.

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“My shopper was on medication, her thoughts was not clear and he or she did a variety of unhealthy issues,” her lawyer, Gary Singh, stated in courtroom.

Kealoha apologized to her household in courtroom and requested for forgiveness. “To my uncle, particularly,” she stated. “I Know that he has been by a lot ache and a lot harm.”

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Kealoha’s aunt, Charlotte Puana Malott, learn a letter she stated her mom, Florence Puana, wrote earlier than she died at 100 in February about her granddaughter’s “ruthless scheme.”

“I used to be 90 years previous in 2009 after I agreed to a reverse mortgage on my dwelling, not likely understanding what it meant. It appeared difficult, but I trusted you Katherine,” the letter stated.

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Kealoha got here to Puana and her son Gerard Puana with an thought about taking out a reverse mortgage on her grandmother’s dwelling to assist purchase a apartment her uncle needed. Kealoha stated she would consolidate her money owed and promised her uncle and grandmother that she would repay the mortgage.

She used the cash to purchase her uncle’s apartment, however as a substitute of paying off the mortgage, she spent the leftover cash, on luxuries together with $26,000 for an induction banquet when her husband grew to become police chief and $10,000 on Mercedes-Benz and Maserati automobile funds, the decide stated.

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“She perverted justice. And he or she did so for her personal private causes,” stated Michael Wheat, a particular federal prosecutor. “To facilitate a way of life and a facade and a picture on this group.”

Louis Kealoha filed for divorce after they had been convicted.

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Monday’s sentencing hearings come after a number of postponements. Concern over the unfold of the coronavirus delayed them in March. A Nov. 3 date was modified after officers realized that was Election Day.

“COVID has saved us from this date for fairly some time,” the decide stated.

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