Banker Bandit

Molokai resident embezzles thousands from credit union

By Dan Murphy

Molokai resident Daniel Mahiai pleaded guilty last week to embezzling over $200,000 from the Molokai Community Federal Credit Union (MCU) over the past four years.

Mahiai, 32, worked as a teller at MCU since 2004 and began stealing money in January 2005, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Federal prosecutors said that Mahiai was able to carry out his scheme for over three years by doctoring account entries after customers made a transaction. The entries falsely inflated the balances so large missing sums of money went unnoticed. He also set some accounts so no statements would be mailed to the customers so withdrawals would go undetected.

Mahiai embezzled a total of $218,293 from the credit union. He replaced over $55,000 of that money before he stopped in February 2008.

MCU President Lawrence Lasua declined to comment at this time.

Mahiai, currently released on a $50,000 bond, faces up to 30 years in federal prison and fines as high as $1 million. U.S District Judge David Ezra will make a ruling on the sentence on Feb. 16, 2010. Mahiai also must pay $168,180 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Larry Tong and the FBI were both involved with the case.


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