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Ex-FBI official accused of stealing from Hawaii LGBT group

Updated: 
October 18, 2017 - 9:57pm

Ex-FBI official accused of stealing from Hawaii LGBT group

HONOLULU — The nonprofit Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation has accused a former high-ranking FBI official of stealing more than $33,000 while he was the organization’s treasurer.

The nonprofit told police that between November 2016 and August 2017, 56-year-old Robert Kauffman wrote improper checks and made several unauthorized withdrawals from the foundation’s bank account, Hawaii News Now reported .

“Several of these checks and bank account withdrawals were in excess of $3,000, which requires the approval of two board members,” attorney and foundation director David Brustein said. “Robert did not have signatures or board approval.”

Kauffman is a former assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Honolulu field office. He is currently chief investigator for the state Judiciary’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which oversees attorney conduct.

Kaufmann’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said his client is “innocent of any embezzlement” and was safeguarding the money from being misspent.

He said Kauffman returned the money with a cashier’s check even before the foundation went to the police. Kauffman plans to fight the allegations.

Honolulu police are investigating and have turned over the case to its white-collar division.

The Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation is a tax-exempt organization that supports causes for the gay, lesbian and transgendered people and is a big organizer of the Honolulu Pride festival.

The $33,000 is nearly half of the foundation’s annual revenues.

“It is more damaging, not only to the organization but the people who the organization was set up to assist,” said Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor Randal Lee, a retired Circuit judge.

Ex-Hawaii accountant imprisoned 20 years for embezzlement

HONOLULU — The former managing partner of what was one of Hawaii’s largest accounting firms has been taken into custody after a judge sentenced him to prison for stealing more than $400,000 from the company.

Deputies took Patrick Oki into custody on Tuesday after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple counts of theft, money laundering, forgery and using a computer to commit the crimes.

Oki admitted to claiming false reimbursements and lying to his partners but testified that he only took what was owed to him from PKF Pacific Hawaii LLP. He was found guilty on all counts following a two-week non-jury trial in February.

Circuit Judge Rom Trader put off ordering Oki to pay $440,178 in restitution until he can figure out to who the money is owed to. The state had asked the judge to order Oki to pay the money to his former PKF partners.

Following Oki’s indictment and arrest in October 2015, PKF’s new partners changed the name of the firm to Spire Hawaii LLP.

Internet restored to most Hawaii libraries

HONOLULU — Internet connectivity has been restored to all Hawaii State Public Library System locations on Hawaii Island, except for the Pahala Public and School Library. Mahalo to the technical staff who worked tirelessly to restore access for our Hawaii Island library patrons!

Technical staff continue to work on restoration of internet connectivity at the Pahala Library which also suffered from equipment failure issues. An announcement will be made once internet access is available.

We apologize for any inconvenience the outage has caused our Hawaii Island library patrons and thank them for their patience and understanding.

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