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Kauai woman pleads guilty for multiple schemes of wire fraud, identity theft

Hawaii News Now/File
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Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:37 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Kauai woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to multiple wire fraud schemes and identity theft spanning over six years.

Court documents said Leihinahina Sullivan began filing false state and federal tax returns back in 2011. Instead of helping her customers, she pocketed the money.

Officials said the 49-year-old did not review these tax returns with the individuals before she filed them in their names.

Sullivan transferred the fraudulent tax refunds into several bank accounts, including her personal bank accounts and those of friends and family members as well as an account for a non-profit she controlled. She then spent these tax refunds on personal expenses for herself, her family and friends.

Prosecutors said Sullivan also submitted false student financial aid applications for college-bound students, requesting money from public and private educational financial aid providers.

She even used social security numbers to apply for credit cards in other people’s names.

Sullivan faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of wire fraud.

She must also serve a mandatory sentence of two years in prison in addition to any other sentence imposed by the court.

Sullivan is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

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