Woman who bilked her own friends and family ordered to serve - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Woman who bilked her own friends and family ordered to serve 33 months

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tears flowed in a Federal courtroom Friday as a woman who bilked her own friends and family out of more than $1 million learned her punishment.

Judge David Ezra sentenced Kapua Keolanui to 33 months in Federal prison and three years of supervised released. He also ordered her to pay more than $800,000 in restitution.

Keolanui's problems began in 2007, when she met Perry and Rachelle Griggs, who recruited Keolanui to work for them as part of their Ponzi scheme.

Six families invested money with Keolanui, all of whom were either her friends or family. In return, she promised them huge returns on their investments. Instead, she siphoned some of that money to the Griggs, and spent the rest on herself and other failed business ventures.

Two of those victims, who lost their Kailua home in the process, testified in court.

"I felt like the victims, our faces needed to be out there and known that this is real, and we are real people and had a tremendously horrible thing happen to us," said Misty Kaniho.

Outside the court, Keolanui said, "I'm really grateful for my support. Thank you."

Keolanui also chose to address her victims in court, and said she accepted responsibility for her actions. She also apologized to the court, her friends, and her family.

She also asked for forgiveness, and added that she intends on working the rest of her life to pay back her victims.

Keolanui is scheduled to serve her sentence at the Federal Detention Center beginning November 28.

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