Ransen Taito said in U.S. District Court this morning that he signed false documents prepared by Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha and lied to a federal grand jury investigating Kealoha, “For the greater good of my family.”
Taito, 26, told U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright that he lied because Kealoha threatened to put Taito’s mother in jail if he told the truth.
Federal prosecutors say Kealoha, who was appointed guardian of Taito and his sister when they were minors, spent most of the money from their trust accounts on personal expenses of her and her husband, former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha. At the time of her appointment Katherine Kealoha had a private law practice.
Taito said Katherine Kealoha told him to lie about what happened to the money in his trust.
He pleaded guilty this morning to conspiring with Katherine Kealoha to falsify documents and obstruct FBI and federal grand jury investigations into Kealoha’s handling of his and his sister’s trust accounts.
Taito’s lawyer Michael Green said Kealoha lied to Taito, telling him she gave the money from his trust account to his mother.
A federal grand jury indicted the Kealohas last October with multiple counts of bank fraud involving the Taitos’ trust fund money. The indictment also charges the Kealohas and four former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit with conspiracy, obstructing justice and lying to investigators in an alleged frame-up of Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, with whom she was involved in a bitter money dispute.