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The Latest: Uncle testifies he didn’t take chief’s mailbox

June 5, 2019

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a Hawaii corruption trial for a former police chief, his wife and current and former officers (all times local):

11:56 a.m.

A former Honolulu prosecutor accused her uncle of stealing the mailbox from her home, but he “absolutely” denied it in court Wednesday.

U.S. prosecutors say framing Gerard Puana for stealing the mailbox was key to a conspiracy by now-retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha and his wife, Katherine Kealoha, a former deputy city prosecutor. The Kealohas are on trial, accused of framing Puana to keep him from revealing a financial scheme.

The first question posed in court to Puana was whether he stole the Kealohas’ mailbox. He said “absolutely not.”

Puana says he trusted his niece. He says she came up with an idea to get a reverse mortgage on his mother’s home to buy him a condo and consolidate the Kealohas’ debt. Prosecutors say she never paid off the reverse mortgage on her grandmother’s home as promised, but used the money on the Kealohas’ lavish lifestyle.

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12:00 a.m.

Prosecutors in Hawaii say a former city attorney gained a state position using correspondence from a fictional notary public.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday that federal prosecutors Monday linked Katherine Kealoha to a nonexistent notary public named “Alison Lee Wong.”

Prosecutors say the name was on a letter to state officials supporting Kealoha’s bid to become director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control in 2008.

Authorities say Kealoha, a former Honolulu deputy prosecutor, and her husband, retired Honolulu Police chief Louis Kealoha, attempted to frame a man for theft to keep him from revealing fraud that financed their lavish lifestyle.

Prosecutors say Katherine Kealoha also sent emails to the imagined notary in 2011 regarding work on trust accounts from which the Kealohas misappropriated nearly $150,000.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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