Louis and Katherine Kealoha
1 December 2020
A U.S. judge sentenced former Honolulu prosecutor, Katherine Kealoha, to 13 years in prison and her retired police chief husband, Louis Kealoha, to seven years. The couple, will have to pay nearly $700,000 in restitution to their victims. Now they are separated. Louis Kealoha filed for divorce from Katherine after their guilty verdicts last year. Katherine and Louis Kealoha were once held as pillars of Hawaii’s law enforcement community.
Katherine did not steal public funds, instead she stole from her own relatives. Sentencing judge noted that she could not have done this without the help of he police chief husband.
Gerard Puana and his mother, Florence, had filed a lawsuit against Katherine Kealoha in 2013, alleging that she had bilked them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through a shady reverse mortgage deal and sham investment scheme. The lawsuit resulted in revealing a series of financial crimes that the Kealohas had committed. She stole from her uncle, Gerard Puana, and her grandmother, Florence Puana, to fuel their lavish lifestyle. She used her husband’s law enforcement power to frame her uncle for a crime he didn’t commit. Louis Kealoha gave false testimony at the trial of his wife’s uncle for stealing the couple’s mailbox.
The Kealohas previously pleaded guilty to a bank fraud. They provided false information to obtain loans.
They used the stolen money for trips to Disneyland, Elton John concert tickets and Maserati car payments. This money was also used to pay for Louis Kealoha’s inaugural celebration at the Sheraton Waikiki amounting to $25,000 after he was named Honolulu’s police chief.
Katherine Kealoha had stolen nearly $160,000 from two children while she was their court-appointed guardian. She and her doctor brother ran a prescription drug ring using her position as a prosecutor to keep their criminal activity hidden from law enforcement.
After her bail was revoked last year she remained in custody at the Federal Detention Centre near the Honolulu airport. She apologized for her misdeeds, hoping for leniency, but the judge imposed a harsher sentence, saying that she had “perverted justice over and over and over and over again.”
Two police officers, Derek Hahn and Minh-Hung “Bobby” Nguyen, were also convicted in June 2019 for trying help her in the frame job and cover-up.