Bookkeeper who stole from nonprofit to fund lavish lifestyle sentenced
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former bookkeeper accused of stealing millions of dollars from a nonprofit for the intellectually disabled was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison.
Lola Jean Amorin, 71, was also ordered to pay nearly $7 million in restitution to the nonprofit Arc in Hawaii.
"I would like to apologize to the Arc, my family and friends," she said in court Wednesday.
"I am truly sorry and accept responsibility."
Amorin changed her plea from not guilty to no contest two months ago.
"The scope and the extent of the criminal activity in this case is just staggering," said Circuit Judge Glenn Kim.
"She forged some 628 checks over 19 years ... It was breathtaking."
Prosecutors said she stole from the nonprofit that serves the intellectually disabled for two decades, while serving as its bookkeeper. She was charged with theft, computer fraud, money laundering and tax fraud
"She's sorry she got caught, she's sorry about the impact it may have on family members but she lived a life of luxury for 20 years," said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter.
Her husband, 72-year-old Albert Amorin, pleaded no contest to evading taxes on about $3 million that his wife stole from Arc. He was sentenced to five years probation.
The thefts amounted to about $50,000 a month and that affected the nonprofit's ability to serve its mission.
We're told ARC in several instances needed to borrow money from a board member to pay its bills.
Prosecutors said Lola Jean Amorin used the money she stole to buy five homes and multiple cars and to pay for lavish vacations and home renovations.
While she was ordered to pay restitution, it's not clear how much of the money Arc will actually be able to recoup.
"I know that (ARC) desperately need money to improve their facilities," said Deborah Kobayakawa, whose son is an ARC client.
"She knew who she was stealing from. She knew what she was doing was wrong. And to me ... she deserves to go to prison."
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