HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - "We are not guilty."
That's what former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha told reporters Thursday, after appearing in federal court to tell a judge the same.
Kealoha, his deputy prosecutor wife and four other co-defendants all pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges against them.
"We plead not guilty because we are not guilty," Kealoha said. We definitely look forward, towards our day in court."
Kealoha would not take questions from reporters, but thanked his supporters before leaving — hand-in-hand with his wife Katherine.
It's the first statement Kealoha has made since October, when the former power couple and four other current and former police officers were indicted by a federal grand jury.
Last week, another grand jury indicted them on three additional criminal counts, bringing the total to 23.
The charges range from bank fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and identity theft.
The other defendants are HPD officers Derek Hahn, Bobby Nguyen, and Danny Sellers, and former HPD Maj. Gordon Shiraishi.
Four special prosecutors from California have been working on this case for years. Authorities allege the Kealohas stole large amounts of money from relatives, friends and financial institutions and that the officers helped cover up the theft.
Already one former police officer, Niall Silva, has pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against the others.
Another man, Ransen Taito, also took a plea deal. Katherine Kealoha is accused of stealing from a trust account belonging to Taito and his sister.
Kealoha was the trustee after the siblings won a malpractice suit over the death of their father. Taito admitted to lying to the federal grand jury investigating the Kealohas. His attorney says Katherine Kealoha coached him on what to say before testifying.
The trial for the Kealohas and the other four defendants is scheduled for June 18.