MHS girls basketball coach arrested on fraud charges

Maui High School’s head girls basketball coach was arrested last month after being indicted for unauthorized use of company credit cards and amassing thousands of dollars of charges.

Gilbert Silva, 64, of Kahului was booked June 29 on a warrant for second-degree theft and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was released after posting $10,000 bail.

The complaint was filed by Silva’s former employer, the Maui Farmer Cooperative Exchange, in October, according to court documents filed by detectives. Officials reported to police that from Jan. 1, 2009, to April 1, 2012, Silva had used two company-issued cards, a Hawaii Fueling Network fuel card and a Bank of Hawaii Visa debit card, to “purchase goods and services for (his) personal benefit.”

Silva was found to have incurred unauthorized charges of $2,731 on the debit card in 2011, leading officials to confront him about the charges, court documents said. Silva admitted to using the card and agreed to pay back the company at a rate of $300 per month.

In addition to his debit card charges, company officials obtained pictures of Silva at Hawaii Fueling Network stations using the fuel card to fill his personal car, the documents said. Officials later received a signed confession from Silva as to the unauthorized use of the fuel card.

Silva resigned in June 2012, and although he agreed to continue making payments, he “failed to return the stolen amount,” the documents said.

In February, Silva made a formal statement to police and explained that he was hired at a salary that he expected would be raised after keeping the company from going bankrupt, the documents said. He stated that his salary was never raised, and he was forced to pay for his own gas.

Despite his requests, Silva said he was never reimbursed, and once he received his fuel card, he justified using it for his personal car to cover his previous expenses, the documents said. Silva stated that he knew network station cameras recorded him, but because the company had never reimbursed him and was “not living up to their agreement,” he felt he was entitled to the expenses.

Silva is scheduled to be arraigned July 25 in 2nd Circuit Court.

Attempts to reach Silva were unsuccessful.

DOE officials and Maui High Principal Bruce Anderson declined comment. Anderson also said he could not comment about Silva’s status as the school’s head girls basketball coach.

Silva has been coaching the Division I girls basketball team for more than 10 years, including this year when the team finished second behind Lahainaluna in the Maui Interscholastic League. The team reached the quarterfinals at the state tournament before losing to Kamehameha Schools Kapalama.

* Chris Sugidono can be reached at