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Kealohas to stand trial in November

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    Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha arrives at federal court with his wife, deputy prosecutor Katherine Kealoha. Trials are scheduled for the Kealohas on Nov. 14 and March 19.

Former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his deputy prosecutor wife Katherine Kealoha will stand trial on bank fraud charges in November, then stand trial again in March with four former members of the Honolulu Police Department’s elite Criminal Intelligence Unit on charges accusing them of staging the theft of their mailbox and lying about it.

Lawyers for the government, the Kealohas, officers Derek Wayne Hahn, Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, Daniel Sellers and retired Maj. Gordon Shiraishi told U.S. District Chief Judge J. Michael Seabright on Wednesday that they agreed to have the bank fraud trial first.

Seabright scheduled the first trial for Nov. 14 and the second trial for March 19. He told the lawyers that if a scheduling conflict arises, he is willing to push the first trial to Nov. 19 but said the date for the second trial is firm.

After hearing testimony from numerous witnesses for nearly two years, a federal grand jury indicted the Kealohas and the other defendants last October on conspiracy, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, lying, bank fraud and identity theft charges. A different grand jury returned a superseding indictment against the six defendants in March.

Seabright last week agreed with the requests from all of the defendants to split up the charges into two trials.

The bank fraud charges accuse the Kealohas of lying on loan applications to secure mortgages from banks and other loans. The first trial will also involve charges accusing Katherine Kealoha of using an assumed identity to authenticate fraudulent documents.

The charges for the second trial accuse the Kealohas, Hahn, Nguyen and Shiraishi of scheming to stage the mailbox theft to frame Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, and accuse all of them, including Sellers, of lying about it to federal investigators or the grand jury. The trial will also involve charges accusing Katherine Kealoha of stealing money from her uncle, her grandmother and the trust accounts of two minors for which she had been appointed guardian.

When a person is involved in a conspiracy, he or she is held accountable for the acts of others in the conspiracy. Seabright asked the government lawyers last week whether or not the other defendants can be held responsible for the alleged theft of money.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Beste suggested to Seabright on Wednesday that there may new indictments to clarify that.

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