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Hawaii accounting firm partner gets 20 years for stealing $400k from company

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Circuit Judge Rom Trader sentenced Patrick Oki to 20 years in prison for multiple counts of theft, money laundering, forgery and using a computer to commit the crimes.

A state judge has sentenced Patrick Oki, the former managing partner of PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP, to 20 years in prison for stealing more than $400,000 from the local accounting firm.

Circuit Judge Rom Trader had previously found Oki , 47, guilty of multiple counts of theft, money laundering, forgery and using a computer to commit the crimes following a non-jury trial in February.

Oki, 47, told Trader at Tuesday’s sentencing that he is sorry for what he did, that he regrets making bad choices and that he should have handled things differently, even though it would have been difficult and uncomfortable for him.

“I’ve ruined my reputation. I’m very shameful. I wish I did things differently and I should have known better,” he told Trader, who ordered Oki taken into custody to immediately begin serving his sentence.

During the trial Oki admitted that he created fictitious companies and employees, phony contracts and correspondence, and doctored other documents in order to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in false reimbursements from the partnership he created in 2010 with four other former employees of Grant Thornton LLP. He said he was justified in doing what he did because the money he collected was only part of what was owed to him.

Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said he found Oki’s apology disingenuous because Oki continues to refuse to accept responsibility and admit that what he did was criminal. “The guy is a con artist. He’s a liar. He’s been lying his way through most of his adult life,” Van Marter said.

PKF’s other partners told Trader that Oki ruined their lives.

Deneen Nakashima said when the partners figured out what Oki was doing and confronted him, “He would lie to us stone-faced, turn things around,” and accuse them of stealing.

Lawrence Chew said Oki, “single-handedly ruined PKF. He tarnished the CPA profession. He is an evil person full of lies and deceit.”

Trisha Nomura said, “We didn’t deserve to have our lives ruined so that Patrick could fund his lavish lifestyle and second life.”

Dwayne Takeno said, “What is shocking is he did this using the skills of his trade.”

In addition to being a certified public accountant, Oki was a certified fraud examiner trained to catch people doing the very things he was found guilty of doing.

The 20-year prison term is the mandatory sentence for the computer crime, the most serious of the charges. The Hawaii Paroling Authority will decide how much of the 20 years Oki must spend behind bars before he can be eligible for parole. Van Marter said he will ask the parole board to impose a 10-year minimum.

Trader put off ordering Oki to pay the $440,178 restitution until he can figure out who is owed the money.

According to the charges the money Oki stole belonged to PKF and its partners, including Oki. Van Marter had asked Trader to have Oki reimburse his four former partners equally, deny a share to Oki and not have any money go to the accounting firm, which has new partners who renamed the company Spire Hawaii LLP.

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