Bookkeeper, 70, receives 25 years in prison for stealing almost $7M from nonprofit
A state judge sentenced the longtime bookkeeper of The Arc in Hawaii to 25 years in prison Wednesday for stealing nearly $7 million from the nonprofit that provides services to children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities and for failing to pay taxes on some of the money she stole.
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A state judge sentenced the longtime bookkeeper of The Arc in Hawaii to
25 years in prison Wednesday for stealing nearly
$7 million from the nonprofit that provides services to children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities and for failing to pay taxes on some of the money she stole.
Lola Jean Amorin, 70, pleaded no contest in
June to multiple counts of theft, using a computer to commit the theft, money laundering, tax evasion and failing to file tax returns. According to the charges, Amorin stole the money from 1998 to March of last year.
Amorin apologized to The Arc, her family and friends and said her husband, Albert Amorin, had nothing to do with the theft.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said
after the hearing that
Amorin was sorry she got caught and the impact it will have on her family.
Arc clients, employees and supporters filled the courtroom for Amorin’s sentencing. Among them was Deborah Kobayakawa, whose adult son has been an Arc client for seven years. Kobayakawa said Amorin deserves to go to prison for what she did.
“Not only did she steal from people with disabilities but she worked in the same building where the people were,” she said.
Amorin worked across the hall from her son’s care home manager and knows his housemate by name.
The Hawaii Paroling
Authority will decide
how much of her 25-year sentence Amorin must serve before being eligible for parole.
In addition to the prison term, Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kim ordered Amorin to repay The Arc $6,944,702 and to pay the state Department of Taxation $337,553 for failing to pay taxes on $3 million
of the stolen money. The statute of limitations prevented the state from charging her with failing to pay taxes on all of the money she stole.
Kim sentenced Amorin’s husband, Albert, 72,
to four years of probation for the same tax evasion charges and ordered him to share in the responsibility of paying the couple’s unpaid taxes.
“I’m sorry for what I have done. I didn’t know what my wife was doing with the books, so I’m sorry for that,” Amorin said.
The Amorins’ lawyer, Scott Collins, told Kim that Lola Jean Amorin handled all of the family finances and he believes that the state would have had a hard time proving that Albert Amorin willfully evaded paying taxes and willfully failed to file tax returns. He said Albert Amorin pleaded no contest to the charges to provide The Arc closure.
Kim said, “Personally, I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know at least part of what his wife was doing over 19 years, $7 million.”
Van Marter told Kim that some of the credit cards for which the Amorins were paying tens of thousands of dollars per month were in Albert Amorin’s name. He said the Amorins spent the stolen money on family members, lavish vacations, gambling and to purchase, maintain and renovate four homes.
Kim said he denied Albert Amorin’s request for a deferral because of the amount of unpaid taxes. He also denied Van Marter’s request for jail or prison time. Kim noted that ALbert Amorin has had no brushes with the law for nearly 50 years. And, he said Amorin, like himself, is a Vietnam war veteran who served his country honorably.
“In my view, that should also count for something at a time like this. And it does in this court,” Kim said.