Companies could be civilly liable in non-profit embezzlement case

It’s described as the “largest white collar crime case” ever handled by the Honolulu Prosecutor’s office.

Lola Jean Amorin is charged with stealing nearly seven-million dollars from the Arc in Hawaii where she worked as an accountant for almost 30 years.

KHON2 wanted to know if the agencies or companies that had a fiduciary responsibility to the Arc in Hawaii could be held accountable for their inability to spot discrepancies in the Arc’s finances.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Chris Van Marter said, “unfortunately a lot of different entities let down the Arc and the people that they serve.”

When asked if there would be any repercussions for the agencies that were unable to detect the embezzlement and if they could be help responsible if found to be at fault, Van Marter answered, “I’m not going to get into those issues. They involve civil liability and those issues i’m sure will be considered by the Arc in Hawaii and their attorneys and we’ll defer to them as to what their legal options may be.”

Lola Jean Amorin
Lola Jean Amorin

Former circuit court judge Randal Lee elaborated.

“They may not be criminally liable [because] they may not have partaken in the criminal activity,” Lee explained. “However, they may be civilly liable if they were negligent in doing their job.”

“They can be sued for the amount of money that was lost as a result of their negligence for failing to detect or failing to report discrepancies that should have been detected or known… the standard is not whether or not they knew, also whether or not they should have known,” Lee added.

The Honolulu Prosecutor’s office told KHON2 they anticipate their investigation will be done in the next couple of months.

Whether or not the Arc in Hawaii decides to pursue legal action against any companies or firms that failed to detect the alleged theft remains to be seen.

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