Hilo man sentenced for welfare fraud


A 64-year-old Hilo man has been granted a deferred sentence for illegally receiving food stamps from the state Department of Human Services.

James George Borden pleaded no contest July 9 to third-degree theft, a misdemeanor, according to Third Circuit Court records.

Borden was found guilty by Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara and sentenced to a year probation with 30 days in jail, with credit for time served and the remaining jail time stayed if Borden complies with the terms and conditions of his probation, which include 50 hours of community service.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors reduced the charge from second-degree theft — a class C felony, which is a theft of more than $300, but less than $20,000. The deferral means the conviction will be expunged from the record if Borden stays out of trouble with the law for a year.

Borden will also not be allowed to apply for welfare or food stamps for a year, because of st6ate rules, not the probationary terms, according to court records.

Borden in recent years has been the subject of numerous letters to the editor of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald for signs he has posted from the back of his pickup truck in Kinoole Street parking space next to Lincoln Park in downtown Hilo.