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

Maui women found guilty in debt elimination scheme

Posted: Updated:

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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.