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Pukalani man fined $1,005 for illegal sports betting

Judge grants request to keep gambling conviction off his record

WAILUKU — A Pukalani man was ordered to pay a $1,005 fine for placing bets as part of an illegal sports betting operation.

Shawn Boneza, 47, was among 23 people arrested and charged for allegedly participating in the sports betting operation from Oct. 3 to Dec. 21, 2015.

“He might be characterized as a very low level, $20-bet conspirator here,” said his attorney, John Parker. “It’s my hope that he will be at the absolute low end of the fine scale because he’s at the absolute low end of the participants in this.”

Boneza had pleaded no contest to first-degree promotion of gambling, with other charges dismissed in exchange for his plea.

At his sentencing Thursday, 2nd Circuit Judge Peter Cahill granted Boneza’s request for a chance to keep a gambling conviction off his record if he follows court requirements for four years.

Cahill found that Boneza was unlikely to reoffend.

“I won’t say he’s not likely to gamble again,” Cahill said. “It’s just that he’s going to do it the way he’s supposed to.”

He said the additional $5 in the fine amount represented a $5 discount he received on one bet, according to police reports. “The generosity shouldn’t go unpunished,” Cahill said.

Boneza was ordered not to gamble in the state.

Another defendant, Jo Ann Montilliano Feig, 73, of Kahului, was ordered to pay a $250 fine when she was sentenced May 27. She was given a chance to keep a conviction for first-degree promotion of gambling off her record if she follows court requirements for six months.

In imposing the sentence, Judge Cahill noted Montilliano Feig didn’t place bets.

She said her sister — who was making copies of betting sheets for a friend — asked for help.

Neither Montilliano Feig nor her sister got any of the proceeds of the operation, which involved others “exchanging hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Cahill said.

He said Thursday that all but one of the 23 defendants have been sentenced.

* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

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