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A former insurance agent is going to jail for stealing tens of thousands of dollars.
Scott Akashi, 32, pleaded no contest to theft charges and paid back the money he took from his victims.
Michelle Beckett said her grandmother, Lily Ching, now lives in fear after falling victim to Akashi, who was her insurance agent.
“When I started thumbing through things, I saw a Bank of Hawaii statement and I went through it and found the checks she wrote to Scott,” Beckett said.
Beckett’s 89-year-old grandmother and another elderly victim, Hirouchi Koza, were both convinced to cash in their life insurance policy or annuity, totaling $40,000.
Akashi then promised to reinvest the money and get them a better return.
Akashi’s defense attorney said he used the money to pay off gambling debts.
“His initial diagnosis had to do with pathological gambling and we present that not as an excuse, but to try to explain how somebody like Scott could come to this position. He owed money, he stole money to pay those debts,” defense attorney Richard Sing said.
But as soon as he was caught, Akashi said he realized his wrongdoing and paid both victims back.
“First, I’d like to apologize to Mr. Koza and Mrs. Ching for what I have done, and just to sincerely apologize to their families as well,” Akashi said.
The judge sentenced Akashi, who is no longer selling life insurance, to two days in jail every week for the next three months.
The judge also placed Akashi on probation for five years and ordered him to do 300 hours of community service.
For the victim’s family that is punishment enough.
“I think it was great. It was fair. It was what I wanted, Scott’s name to be brought to the public and for him to know all the hurt that he caused to my grandma and my family,” Beckett said.