Maui women found guilty in debt elimination scheme - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui women found guilty in debt elimination scheme

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal jury has found two Maui women guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud offenses in a debt elimination scheme targeting Native Hawaiian homeowners.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Mahealani Ventura-Oliver and Pilialoha Teves were found guilty Tuesday.

Hawaii District U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni says in news release that the women were part of a group that held weekly Maui seminars involving Hawaiian history, culture and royal land patents. In return for a payment or fee, the group claimed they could provide "bonds" and other documents to pay off mortgages and prevent collection efforts.

Prosecutors say the group collected $468,000 from about 200 people and that many of them ultimately lost their homes or had to renegotiate loans.

The trial lasted 11 days. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.

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