The federal case against the Kealohas includes allegations that Katherine Kealoha misused money and forged documents while she was the guardian of more than $167,000 for two minors, in separate accounts of $83,884 each.
The children’s father had received a medical malpractice settlement. He later died.
Last week in court, federal prosecutors presented a sample of what they said was a bank statement altered to make it look like the minor’s money was Kealoha’s instead, as loan collateral:
The indictment says the attorney who Kealoha worked with on the 2004 guardianship case got the runaround from her when asking about distributions, even getting sent answers from what the feds deemed a fake legal assistant email:
16. On numerous occasions in 2011 and 2012, Attorney 1 asked K. KEALOHA about the status and disposition of the Trust Accounts. K. KEALOHA provided false and misleading information to Attorney 1 about the Trust Accounts, and concealed the fact that K. KEALOHA and L. KEALOHA had misappropriated almost $150,000 from the Trust Accounts. For example:
a. On August 2-3, 2011, K. KEALOHA sent emails to her alias, “Alison Lee Wong,” which she then forwarded to Attorney l’s law firm, in order to make it appear that K. KEALOHA was actively working towards closing out R.T. and A.T.’s guardianships.
b. On August 7, 2011, K. KEALOHA sent an email to Attorney l’s law firm claiming that “Alison” had “put together the final accounting [for R.T. ]” and had called R. T. regarding signing the necessary documents to finalize R.T.’s account.
c. On or about September 26, 2011, K. KEALOHA sent an email to Attorney l’s law firm, claiming she “plan[ned] on meeting with Alison [Lee Wong]” in several days to “go over the documents that [R.T.] dropped off.”
d. On or about October 26, 2011, using the alias “Alison Lee Wong,” K. KEALOHA sent a fraudulent email to Attorney l’s law firm regarding closing out R.T. and A.T. ‘s guardianships, and falsely represented that Alison Lee Wong was “making sure all necessary documents are signed.”
That attorney declined to comment to Always Investigating.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel declined to confirm when it was first made aware of potential problems and what threshold allegations have to pass in order to warrant a look by the agency that monitors licensed attorney conduct.
The federal indictment alleges all the money was used up by the Kealohas.
But when it came time to turn the money over to the now-adult beneficiaries, the guardianship case file shows $84,672.50 in the brother’s account — technically more than the original deposit for his share — and the recipient signed off on it.
The brother and sister are now ages 25 and 24, and have not separately brought complaints against Kealoha.
Kevin Sumida, an attorney for the Kealohas, said in a statement: “the allegations in the indictment concerning the guardianship matter are shockingly inaccurate. There was no wrongdoing, and we understand that the two minors in question, now of legal age, whose trust funds were supposedly stolen, appeared before the grand jury and testified to exactly that.”
Sumida says the start and end totals for the sister were similar to that of her brother.