Accountant Pleads No Contest To Stealing $7 Million From Arc Chapter
HONOLULU — Staff members and clients of The Arc in Hawaii, a nonprofit organization that provides services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, packed a state courtroom this week to hear Lola Jean Amorin plead no contest to two counts of first-degree theft, two counts of computer fraud, money laundering and 13 tax evasion charges.
“It was important for them to be here,” said The Arc in Hawaii Executive Director Lei Fountain. “We waited a long time for today and we’re glad that we’re able to put it behind us.”
Amorin, 70, had been a bookkeeper for The Arc in Hawaii for 30 years. The charges accuse her of stealing $6,969,165 from The Arc in Hawaii between 1998 and March of last year, money that would have paid for client services. She faces a minimum 20-year prison term at sentencing in August.
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Her husband, Albert Amorin, 72, pleaded no contest to the same 13 tax evasion charges and faces maximum one- and five-year prison terms for each count. His lawyer Scott Collins said Wednesday that Albert Amorin will be asking the court in August for an opportunity to avoid conviction by deferring his no contest pleas.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said he will oppose the request for a deferral and ask Circuit Judge Glenn Kim to send Albert Amorin to prison.
“The amounts are just too high, it went on for too long and involves too egregious of a scheme to get anything other than prison,” he said.
Van Marter said the tax evasion charges involve failing to report $3 million in income over a five-year span.
He said the nearly $7 million figure that Amorin’s wife is accused of stealing is based on existing bank records. He said financial institutions are only required by law to maintain records up to seven years.
“There were additional losses that we just couldn’t get the record for. But I’m confident that the losses exceed $8 million,” he said.
In addition to whatever sentences he hands down, Kim will be required to order the Amorins to pay restitution.
The Arc in Hawaii also has a pending lawsuit against the Amorins to recover whatever money it can.
Van Marter said the Amorins used some of the stolen money to buy four homes in Hawaii and one in Nevada. He also said the Amorins spent the stolen money on lavish vacations, cars, gambling in Las Vegas casinos and on family members. He said Lola Jean Amorin had The Arc in Hawaii pay her credit card bills, which he said averaged more than $50,000 per month over a 10-year period.
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