Former Hawaii Attorney, Police Chief Sentenced To Jail For Corruption

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HONOLULU – A U.S. judge on Monday sentenced a former senior Honolulu prosecutor to 13 years in prison and her retired police chief husband to seven, saying she stole money from her own grandmother mother and then used her law enforcement power to trick her uncle into a crime he didn’t commit – all to maintain the couple’s lavish lifestyle.

Katherine and Louis Kealoha, now separated, were once a respected power couple. Louis Kealoha has agreed to retire amid a massive federal investigation. Katherine Kealoha then dropped out of her law degree.

“This case has shocked the community in many ways,” said US District Judge J. Michael Seabright.

He described how Katherine Kealoha orchestrated a reverse mortgage program that forced her grandmother to sell her house, accused her uncle of stealing the mailbox from the Kealoha house, stole money to children whose trusts she controlled as a lawyer, cheated on her uncle about his savings. , convinced her firefighter lover to lie about their affair and used his position as prosecutor to hijack a drug investigation from his doctor brother.

“Truth can be stranger than fiction,” said the judge on Katherine Kealoha’s sentencing.

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He later told Louis Kealoha that although his wife was the mastermind, “you mastered the executive work that followed,” and the project could not have been successful without the Honolulu Police Department.

A jury convicted the Kealoha last year of conspiracy, along with two former officers who are expected to be sentenced on Tuesday.

The case is particularly shocking, Seabright said, because of the role of the police chief of a “great American city”.

“Think about it, the police chief of one of the largest police departments in the country (…) swears to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” and lies, the judge told About Louis Kealoha’s false testimony at the trial of his wife’s uncle for theft of the couple’s mailbox. The trial ended with an annulment of the trial, according to prosecutors, the then leader purposely thwarting the investigation.

The Kealoha then pleaded guilty to bank fraud, claiming to have provided false information to obtain loans.

They went to great lengths to maintain a lifestyle they couldn’t afford with civil servant salaries, the judge said.

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Katherine Kealoha, 51, also pleaded guilty to an identity theft charge, saying she asked an officer to falsify a police report she used to explain negative information on a credit report. She also pleaded guilty to a charge that involved protecting her brother from the drug investigation.

In a letter to the judge, she criticized drug addiction for clouding her judgment.

“My client was on drugs, her mind was not clear and she did a lot of bad things,” her lawyer, Gary Singh, said in court.

Kealoha apologized to her family in court and asked for forgiveness. “To my uncle, above all,” she said. “I know he’s been through so much pain and so much pain.”

Kealoha’s aunt Charlotte Puana Malott read a letter her 100-year-old mother Florence Puana wrote before her death in February about her granddaughter’s “ruthless plan”.

“I was 90 years old in 2009 when I accepted a reverse mortgage on my house, without really understanding what it meant. It sounded complicated, but I trusted you, Katherine, ”the letter read.

Kealoha came to Puana and her son Gerard Puana with the idea of ​​taking out a reverse mortgage on her grandmother’s house to help her buy a condo her uncle wanted. Kealoha said she would consolidate her debts and promised her uncle and grandmother that she would pay off the loan.

She used the money to buy her uncle’s condo, but instead of repaying the loan, she spent the remaining money on luxuries, including $ 26,000 for an induction banquet when her husband became chef de la police and $ 10,000 in payments from Mercedes-Benz and Maserati cars, the judge said.

“She perverted justice. And she did it for her own personal reasons, ”said Michael Wheat, a special federal prosecutor. “Facilitate a lifestyle, a facade and an image in this community. “

Louis Kealoha, 60, filed for divorce after being sentenced.

He said during his conviction that he was deeply sorry, that he was ashamed and that he had failed to live up to the standards of a chief of police. “This is the last place in my life I thought I was and I swear I would never be here again,” he said.

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