Former union boss Brian Ahakuelo and family members were arraigned today in federal court on charges of criminal conspiracy and wire fraud for allegedly using union dues for personal expenses, and for rigging results of membership voting to hike union dues up to 4% from 1.5%.
Ahakuelo, his wife, Marilyn, and her sister Jennifer Estencion pleaded not guilty to the charges of a 70-count indictment filed Aug. 22, which also includes money laundering and embezzlement.
The three remain free on $50,000 bond.
Ahakuelo served as business manager and financial secretary for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260, which represents about 3,000 electrical workers in Hawaii and Guam.
He depleted the union’s surplus of more than $700,000 in 2010 to a net deficit of more than $700,000, the indictment alleges.
Michael Brittain, Daniel Rose, Lee Ann Miyamura and Russell Yamanoha, were also charged Aug. 23 with helping to rig the election to increase member dues.