East Hawaii News

Keaau Woman Sentenced for Theft of Welfare Benefits

April 19, 2013, 5:46 PM HST
* Updated April 19, 5:50 PM
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Circuit Court Judge Glen Hara has sentenced a 37-year-old Keaau woman to 30 days in jail after she pleaded guilty to theft for obtaining welfare benefits to which she was not entitled.

Hara on April 2 sentenced Paige Okimoto to 18 months in jail with all but 30 days suspended, and placed her on five years probation.

She was also ordered to pay more than $36,000 in restitution to the state Department of Human Services.

Hara granted Okimoto’s request for a deferred acceptance of her plea. That means if she completes all the conditions of her sentence, in five years she can request to have the crime removed from her record.

Prosecutors said Okimoto obtained $36,475 in welfare benefits between March 2007 and July 2011 by illegally hiding assets.

Okimoto was indicted for first-degree theft in October 2012, and entered her guilty plea to that charge in February.

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