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Molokai woman ordered to repay $13,814 in welfare benefits

WAILUKU » A Molokai woman has been ordered to repay thousands of dollars in welfare benefits that she collected while not reporting changes in her income.

Desarae Kahoiwai, 28, was ordered to repay the $13,814 and perform 400 hours of community service as part of four years of probation, reported The Maui News. Second circuit Judge Richard Bissen imposed the sentence Thursday.

“You figured out a way to get more money than you deserved,” Bissen said. “You know who you’re taking it from? Your neighbors on Molokai. Those are the people that need this assistance. You were making good money.”

Kahoiwai pleaded no contest to theft and welfare fraud for collecting welfare overpayments from January to September 2013 and March 2014 to February 2015, according to court records. She asked for a chance to keep the conviction off her record.

“I take full responsibility,” she said. “I have learned a great lesson about myself, that negligence has a great consequence.”

Defense attorney Gina Gormley says Kahoiwai was a full-time student, working one job and looking for another.

“She’s also caring for her two children,” Gormley said. “She’s the breadwinner in the household. She’s a hard worker.”

Prosecutors opposed Kahoiwai’s request, saying she didn’t report changes in her income at least five times.

“This was a long scheme where the defendant, over a course of months, filled out multiple forms,” said Deputy Prosecutor Kerry Glen. “She purposefully hid her increase in income.”

Glen pointed out that Kahoiwai, a part-time employee with hours that varied week to week, submitted pay stubs when she worked fewer hours. But on weeks when she worked more, said Glen, Kahoiwai submitted letters saying she worked 20 hours a week.

“She wouldn’t have been denied,” said Bissen. “She would have gotten less. But she was greedy. To try to tell me that this was negligence and this was an accident and this was an oversight is amazing and borders on lying to the court.”

He denied her request to keep her convictions off her record.

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    • SS Disability is not fraud, the doctors and records confirm disabilities. The real Fraud is the Federal/State Government. Illegal aliens collecting handouts, that’s where the Real RipOff’s at. Millions upon Millions use our health care system, schools, etc. Just look at the anti-Trump rioters at his rally’s. Keep on letting illegal migrants across our borders and we’ll no longer have what America is all about. Keep on raising the Mexican Flag, baby!

      • The media is too scared reporting the Racist anti-Trump protesters raising the Mexian Flag and the burning of the Red, White and Blue. These media sources fear the racist Latino’s who can’t meld into American Society, etc.. They want it here way

      • I am not saying all but many people get their doctors to do it because they have a sore back, etc. Then you see them surfing everyday!

      • SS Disability ios not a fraudulent program and is critically needed by millions. But it is true that many take advantage of it and even lie to get benefits they do not deserve.

    • I am afraid this woman’s sense of “indegenous” entitlement contributed to her fraud. Race-based programs and silly apologies based on misunderstood history are never good.

  • Just the tip of the iceberg….THere are so many more families that have children and do not wed and live together. The father of the children is usually making good money and the female is usually a stay home mom, unemployed, collecting welfare benefits…..I hope that the STATE does something to enforce laws that are in place to STOP this stealing of money from all tax paying citizens.

  • Wow, you caught one person when there about 200,000 on oahu alone that are doing the not get married thing…….. Have kids stay single have a decentjob while the boyfriend has a good job. Reap the benefits.

    • That’s right. Pick up your groceries with a lifted 4×4 and give the cashier your ebt card with an arm full of Hawaiian Gold bracelets.

  • Will she make a few sporadic payments than stop and say she lost her job or as a poor student, she had no money and payments will need to be deferred til she gets back on her feet?

    flee the country sister, make a better life somewhere else rather than America?…you burned your bridges.

    ask Trump or Hillary or Bernie for help?

    if you are taking drugs or booze….lay off them….they are not your friends, they cloud your judgement. Go see your spiritual adviser for help.

  • She should pay back $13,814 Plus the going interest rates for “loans”.
    Garnish part of wages until re-paid in full.
    There is no “free lunch” !!!!

  • This woman will end up not paying very much of the restitution, unless she is still receiving assistance, and in that case, it can be deducted from her welfare.
    If I had been the Judge, I would have given her weekend jail time equivalent to 60 days in jail along with probation. There is too much of this stuff going on and very
    little if any real consequences when a person is caught doing stuff like this.

  • they should throw her in jail. set an example what happens when they steal.I mean sorry for the kids but she knew what she was doing. Then others will think twice.

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