Former County Employee Pleads Guilty to Fraud in Federal Court
July 21, 2022, 11:46 AM HST
* Updated July 21, 12:40 PM
A former employee of the county Office of Housing and Community Development pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony offense of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
Alan Scott Rudo appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Rom Trader in Honolulu on Monday, July 18, where waived the right to a grand jury indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of felony information. The charge stems from the former county employee taking nearly $2 million in bribes and kickbacks to influence affordable housing projects in West Hawai‘i.
Rudo, who left his position in 2018, was the only county employee implicated in the fraud, Mayor Mitch Roth told Big Island Now on Thursday.
Rudo is currently not in custody. During Monday’s hearing, Trader adopted the recommendation of Pretrial Services and ordered the defendant remain released on an unsecured bond of $50,000 under the conditions that he comply with pretrial services supervision, maintain or actively seek employment and surrender any passport and all travel documents.
Rudo is set to be sentenced on Oct. 31, 2022.
The U.S. Attorney District of Hawai‘i Office filed the criminal complaint against Rudo on July 11, which stated he used companies in which he concealed his involvement and that he jointly owned with three other people to secure affordable housing credits through the Office of Housing and Community Development, OHCD.
Rudo and his co-conspirators between December 2014 and October 2021 made it appear that their companies would then develop affordable housing when in fact they had no intention to do so, the complaint states.
Instead, those companies and at least two other limited liability corporations and two trusts were used deceptively to obtain and distribute the affordable housing credits they had earned after Rudo helped approve them in his official capacity in the Office of Housing.