HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu grand jury has indicted a Manoa man accused of stealing a large amount of money from his church.
Prosecutors said that Martin Zialcita, 45, allegedly stole more than $1.2 million while he was an office manager at the Olivet Baptist Church. He’s accused of using church credit cards to pay for his own personal expenses.
“The worst part about it is, who steals from a church? I mean, you got to be somebody of questionable moral character man,” said retired judge and Hawaii Pacific University Criminal Justice professor Randal Lee.
Prosecutors said Zialcita stole money from the church from 2013 to 2019. They said he was able to conceal the alleged thefts by providing the church with phony bank statements.
Zialcita was also charged with using a computer to commit theft. That’s a new law that carries a mandatory 20-year sentence if convicted.
The indictment said that in May 2019, he took $110,000 from an Olivet investment account at Charles Schwab and using a computer he transferred it by wire to his own account at the Bank of Hawaii.
A bench warrant has been issued for Zialcita’s arrest. He declined comment Saturday.