Former Charter School Finance Officer Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

February 4, 2020, 3:49 PM HST (Updated February 4, 2020, 3:49 PM)
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A Hilo woman pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud by embezzling funds from the charter school where she worked.

Kelaukila Estabilio, 39, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 19, 2020, before US District Judge Derrick K. Watson.

US Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawai‘i stated that according to court documents and information presented in court, from 2006 through January 2019, Estabilio worked for the Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School.

The charter school also had a financial support entity, Ho‘oulu Lahui. Estabilio was the financial officer of the charter school and responsible for managing the books and records.

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From approximately 2012 through 2019, Estabilio misused the charter school’s funds to pay for her and her family’s personal credit card bills totaling around $628,835.

“Estabilio falsified the books and records of the charter school to conceal her embezzlement activities for years,” officials say.

The case was investigated by the US Secret Service and the State of Hawai‘i Attorney General’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Rebecca Perlmutter for the District of Hawai‘i.

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