Former Salvation Army Worker Sentenced for Donations Theft

Robert Apilado
Robert Apilado
Timothy Janusz
Timothy Janusz

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- With a law degree and an accounting license, Timothy Janusz held a position of trust at the Salvation Army on Oahu. But he violated that trust when he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the charitable organization.

During this season of giving, a judge handed him his punishment Monday.

Armed with a bell and that familiar red kettle, Robert Apilado collects donations for the Salvation Army. A buck here, a quarter there.

"Depending on the people, you know, if they have the heart, they can give whatever they want," Apilado said. "It's up to them."

Timothy Janusz, on the other hand, chose to steal donations. Prosecutors say he pocketed more than $300,000, while working as the planned giving director at the charitable group's headquarters in Manoa.

"I felt hurt because why are you going to do that when people needs help, yeah," Apilado said. "It's a very bad thing."

The victims are senior citizens who thought their money was going to the Salvation Army's programs.

"The defendant engaged in what we consider to be a predatory pattern of criminal conduct toward elderly victims, people who are vulnerable," Chris Van Marter, deputy prosecutor, said.

But his family asks a judge to have mercy on the father of six.

"He did make some very wrong decisions," Jamison Janusz, convicted thief's son, said. "And all of those decisions were not basically for himself. He was making them for his family."

"I stole money from people," Timothy Janusz said through tears. "I didn't have any excuses. I couldn't blame anybody else."

Calling him a con man, the judge sentences the 48-year-old to 30 years in prison.

"That's good," Apilado said. "Praise the Lord."

It's a punishment Apilado is pleased with.

Some of the stolen money was recovered. The judge ordered Janusz to pay more than $44,000 in restitution to the victims.