HONOLULU (KHON2) — His job was to help create more affordable housing for Big Island residents. But instead, federal prosecutors said Alan Scott Rudo used his position to take bribes and kickbacks of nearly $2 million. Rudo has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire services fraud.
Court documents stated Rudo worked at the Office of Housing and Community Development on the Big Island from 2006 to 2018. The office was created to provide affordable housing.
Documents stated Rudo conspired with three attorneys. “The object of the conspiracy was to make it appear that RUDO was faithfully discharging his duties… when in fact his official acts were tied to an agreement to take bribes and kickbacks.”
Records said they “deceived the County into entering Affordable Housing Agreements for the development of land in Waikoloa, Kailua-Kona and South Kohala, based on false promises that their companies would develop affordable housing.”
Prosecutors claim that in some cases developers donated land to one of Rudo’s three companies which posed as non-profits but yet Rudo profited from the transactions.
“And in order to distribute that profit Rudo was paid number one, a kickback for his work that he did and number two, paid as a partner,” said legal expert Megan Kau.
Records said, “He actually received and attempted to receive bribes and kickbacks totaling at least $1,817,716.”
“It’s beyond disturbing, this breach of public trust,” said Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii.
Ma said if the allegations are true it’s a slap in the face for the people of Hawaii, for someone to take advantage of a program that is badly needed.
“When every day people are suffering, every day people need so much help, it’s just so demoralizing,” said Ma.
“You listen to all of the city council members, all of the senators, all of the House of Representatives during election time and the two most important topics are number one, affordable housing and number two, crime. And this case deals with both,” said Kau.
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His attorney said Rudo is cooperating with prosecutors. We reached out to the county and are waiting to hear back.