Accountant pleads no contest to stealing $7M
HONOLULU (AP) — A former accountant accused of stealing nearly $7 million from an Oahu nonprofit organization has pleaded no contest to the charges.
Lola Jean Amorin entered her no-contest plea Wednesday to 18 criminal charges, including first-degree theft, computer fraud, money laundering and tax evasion, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported .
Amorin, 70, had worked as the bookkeeper for about 30 years for The Arc in Hawaii, an organization that serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Amorin was arrested last year and charged with stealing millions of dollars from her employer over two decades. While authorities linked nearly $7 million to Amorin through existing bank records, Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter said the actual amount she stole could be higher. Financial institutions are only required to maintain records for up to seven years, he said.
“There were additional losses that we just couldn’t get the record for, but I’m confident that the losses exceed $8 million,” Van Marter said.
The money stolen from the organization was used to buy four homes in Hawaii and one in Nevada, Van Marter said. The money also funded lavish vacations, cars and gambling in Las Vegas.
Staff members and clients of the organization had packed the Honolulu courtroom Wednesday to see Amorin enter her plea. Lei Fountain, the organization’s executive director, said it was important for the group to be there.
“We waited a long time for today, and we’re glad that we’re able to put it behind us,” Fountain said.
Amorin is scheduled to be sentenced in August.
Albert Amorin, her husband, also pleaded no contest to 13 counts of tax evasion. The charges stem from failing to report $3 million in income over five years, Van Marter said.