HONOLULU (KHON2) — The trial of former media union boss Brian Ahakuelo is now in the hands of the jury. This, after closing arguments were held today in federal court.

Ahakuelo faces dozens of charges along with his wife Marilyn Ahakuelo and his sister-in-law Jennifer Estencion, who he hired as union officials. The charges include conspiracy, embezzlement and money laundering.

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The prosecutor told jurors that the union IBEW Local 1260 was operating with a net profit of more than $700,000 when Ahakuelo took over as business manager and, within a few years, was hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red.

The prosecutor talked about lavish trips that Ahakuelo took with union officials to New York, Las Vegas, Japan and Macau and said there was very little union business done in those places.

“People testified they had no reason to be on these trips,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Albanese.

Since Ahakuelo needed to raise money, the prosecutor said Ahakuelo rigged a union vote to approve a proposal to raise union dues. There was testimony from union officials earlier in the trial supporting it.

The prosecutor emphasized “Brian Ahakuelo instructed them to fill out fake ballots… Brian Ahakuelo told them we can’t leave nothing to chance.”

Albanese also pointed out Ahakuelo hired five family members, each of them with six figure salaries. In addition to that, they received a bonus referred to as excess salaries of more than $30,000 each. He argued that Ahakuelo abused his position of trust.

The defense attorneys pointed out that the key witnesses for the prosecutors made inconsistent statements and that they agreed to a plea deal with the government for their testimony to avoid prison time. Among them is Russell Yamanoha, who testified on the vote rigging scheme.

Ahakuelo’s attorney said, “All of his testimony has to be looked at with caution because I think he’s not telling the truth.”

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Another defense attorney referred to Yamanoha’s testimony by saying, “He’s lying easily and he’s doing it repeatedly.”

Jury deliberations start next week.