Did she act alone? Is even more money missing?
These are questions investigators will be asking as they look into one of the biggest cases of embezzlement prosecutors have ever seen.
Lola Jean Amorin is accused of stealing almost $6 million from the non-profit The Arc in Hawaii.
She was the senior accountant and worked there for 30 years.
We’re told an audit found discrepancies in insurance payments and that the money was taken over an 11-year period.
We met with a family who receives services from The Arc and with city Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro.
Laurie Kahiapo’s son, Jeremiah, has received Arc services for the past three years. She says she couldn’t believe it when she heard Amorin was accused of embezzling nearly $6 million.
“My initial reaction was I was shocked and extremely saddened. It really broke my heart, you know, that someone could embezzle from people that have disabilities,” Kahiapo said. “They open their arms to the most needy in our communities and that someone would work there and see what they do, the good they do, and still find it in them to take money — it’s beyond me.”
Kaneshiro says one of the things he wants to convey to the public is how serious they are about prosecuting crimes like these.
“We do mean business, because it has a big impact on people and we will pursue it and we have people trained to pursue it,” he said. “We can’t say (whether she acted alone). I can tell you know that the investigation is still ongoing, and we’re still looking at other things in the investigation, and that it’s premature for me right now to indicate who we’re looking at or anything like that, but the investigation is still ongoing.”
“So it sounds like you’re probably looking at multiple individuals who are involved?” KHON2 asked.
“In this, we’re probably looking at multiple individuals and more money,” he said.
Whether or not Amorin acted alone, for Kahiapo and her family, the crime is personal.
“She should be made to face the people she’s hurt and ask forgiveness,” Kahiapo said.
Prosecutors say that Amorin spent a large portion of the $5.7 million she is accused of stealing on mortgages on homes on Oahu, Hawaii island, and in Las Vegas.
Kaneshiro says one of their goals is to recover as much of the stolen money as possible. He explained one of the ways to do this is by selling the properties Amorin owns.
Kaneshiro also says that any money the prosecutor’s office recovers will be given to The Arc in Hawaii so that they are able to continue to provide their services to the community.