Second Waianae Community outreach director arrested for felony t - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Second Waianae Community outreach director arrested for felony theft

Sophina Placencia Sophina Placencia
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Sophina Placencia, 32, was arrested Wednesday for five felony theft counts for improperly diverting more than $200,000 in state funds from Waianae Community Outreach for personal use and on family members and friends, according to Attorney General Doug Chin.

“This set of charges against Ms. Placencia comes as a result of charges filed last week against former program director Laura Pitolo. Ms. Placencia was the executive director

at the time she made allegations theft allegations against Ms. Pitolo. During the course of investigating Ms. Pitolo's theft, special agents for the Attorney General determined

that Ms. Placencia was also misusing state funds at Waianae Community Outreach,” said Deputy Attorney General Michael Kagami of the Criminal Justice Division. “The evidence uncovered against Ms. Placencia also indicates that she diverted a substantial amount of state funds for personal use.”

Placencia was charged with 4 counts of first degree theft, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, and 1 count of second degree theft, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In 2013 Placencia was the Executive Director at the Waianae Community Outreach Kalaeloa emergency homeless shelter.

“This office will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute individuals that violate the public trust. Individuals that receive State funds must be held accountable for the proper use of those funds,” said Chin. “These thefts directly impacted the services provided to our homeless individuals and families in the Waianae area.”

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