A former Hawaii union executive and two of his family members are facing federal corruption charges.
Prosecutors yesterday charged 55-year-old Brian Ahakuelo, ex-business manager of the IBEW Local 1260, with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.
His wife, Marilyn Ahakuelo, 55, and sister-in-law Jennifer Estencion, 52, were charged on similar counts.
According to authorities, between 2011 and 2016, the Ahakuelos conspired to divert funds and property from the electrical workers union for their own personal use.
The indictment also charges Brian Ahakuelo hired family members at inflated salaries. Prosecutors further say he authorized the purchase of a Toyota Tacoma and used union funds for personal travel and dining.
U.S. Attorney Kenji Price also says Ahakuelo rigged a union election when funds ran low.
“Then after running Local 1260’s $700,000 budget surplus down to a $700,000 deficit, defendant Brian Ahakuelo proposed a resolution to raise union dues by around 100%,” Price said. “When he didn’t have the votes to get the resolution passed, he and his two co-defendants rigged a union vote to change the results. In particular, they falsified minutes and sign-in sheets from a membership meeting, and prepared fake ballots indicating members voted in favor of the resolution when they actually did not.”
Four other individuals are facing misdemeanor conspiracy charges.
If convicted on all charges against them, the Ahakuelos face decades in prison time.
HPR reached out to Brian Ahakuelo’s attorney, but did not receive an immediate reply.
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