Alleged Project Grad thief pleads not guilty - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Alleged Project Grad thief pleads not guilty

Eislee Nakamasu in court [foreground] Eislee Nakamasu in court [foreground]
Carl Osaki Carl Osaki
Allison Osaki Allison Osaki
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In the summer of 2013, St. Francis School students and parents worked at the E.K. Fernandez 50th State Fair to raise funds for the school's Project Grad 2015. Because their daughter was a student, Allison and Carl Osaki got involved.

"It was of lot of labor intensive work, frying noodles and making saimin," Allison said.

The effort raised thousands of dollars for the students' 2015 trip to California.

"It's a parochial school . The class is small, very small," Carl Osaki said.

But in the summer of 2014, the Osakis became suspicious. When they learned about $7,000 was missing from the fund, they followed a paper trail they say led to Eislee Nakamasu.

"We found that Mr. Nakamasu was in charge of receiving the funds directly from E.K. Fernandez," Allison said.

"He told me that he would give the money back. I think he admitted taking it," Carl said.

The Osakis filed a police report and complaint, alleging Nakamasu stole the money. On Monday in court, he pleaded not guilty to theft.

"His son was part of this graduating class," Allison Osaki said. "I never imagined there would be an issue like this."

The Osakis and other parents had to hold additional fund raisers and opened a GoFundMe account to again raise money for the students' trip. Carl Osaki is an attorney. He said there's a lesson here.

"You can trust people. You still have to be careful," he said.

"The kids and the parents and everybody else deserves some kind of justice," Allison said.

In May, St. Francis seniors went to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and an Angels baseball game. The Osakis are now getting ready to testify against Nakamasu when he goes on trial in December.

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