Lindsey is givenA federal judge sentenced former Kamehameha Schools trustee Lokelani Lindsey yesterday to six months in federal prison, saying she was driven by a "misguided sense of greed and arrogance."
6 months in prison
The judge says she has a
"misguided sense of greed"
From staff and news reports
U.S. District Court Judge David Ezra also ordered the former trustee to undergo three years of supervised release and pay $35,000 in restitution for a 1995 bankruptcy fraud scheme. Lindsey's sister, Marlene, was also sentenced to six months earlier in the day by Ezra.
Lokelani Lindsey, who appeared in court separately from her sister, apologized to the judge through tears.
"I just want to say how sorry I am," she said, her voice breaking. "All I want to do is to stay home and take care of my husband."
Ezra granted Lindsey six months to care for her disabled husband, Stephen, who is scheduled to have surgery next month. She is to report June 2 to a federal women's prison camp in Dublin, Calif.
Prosecutors said that in 1995 the former trustee helped her sister hide stock earnings in a local freight forwarding company and took $35,000 for her efforts. At one time, Lindsey and her fellow trustees were each paid $1 million a year by Kamehameha Schools.
Marlene Lindsey filed for bankruptcy in January 1995 but failed to disclose that she owned 100 shares of stock in the freight-forwarding company, Atlantic Pacific International Inc.
"The crime reflected a certain amount of arrogance on their part," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Seabright.
Marlene Lindsey pleaded guilty in February to filing a false income tax return and was to testify against her sister. Lokelani Lindsey pleaded guilty to two felony money laundering charges on the day her trial was to begin in June.
Ezra said that without the plea agreements, he would have issued longer prison sentences.
Marlene Lindsey also was ordered to a year of probation and to pay a $1,000 fine. She must report by Jan. 6 to the same prison camp.
Marlene Lindsey failed to report $136,908 on her 1995 tax return. She filed for bankruptcy that year when her hairstyling business failed, and prosecutors say she and her sister concealed $100,000 by transferring stock in Lokelani Lindsey's name to a third party.
"We're disappointed with the sentence, but we understand the significance of the case," said Marlene Lindsey's lawyer, William Domingo, of Honolulu.
The case was moved from Honolulu to Las Vegas after a federal judge found Lokelani Lindsey could not get a fair trial in Hawaii.
Lindsey, who became a Kamehameha Schools trustee in 1993, was the first female appointed to the board of the 118-year-old charitable trust, which educates children of native Hawaiian ancestry.
Criticism that she was micromanaging the $6 billion trust's Kapalama Heights campus set in motion the three-year legal and political controversy that culminated in the 1999 removal of former trustees Henry Peters, Richard "Dickie" Wong, Oswald Stender and Gerard Jervis.
Circuit Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo removed Lokelani Lindsay as a trustee three years ago after finding she had misused and mismanaged trust property, and micromanaged the trust's educational programs.
Ezra emphasized in court yesterday that Lindsey's position as former trustee had no bearing on the fraud case or her sentencing.
Jan Dill, president of Na Pua a Ke Alii Pauahi Inc., a 700-member parent and alumni group, said the Kamehameha Schools ohana takes no joy in Lindsey's plight and recognizes many of her achievements as an educator.
But in many ways, she served as a symbol of what was wrong with the trust's former board and their top-down management style, Dill said.
"Rightly or wrongly, she became the poster lady of the complaints and abuses that were being visited on the children," Dill said.
Michael J. Green, Lindsey's former attorney, said that Lindsey went from being the first woman selected to the prestigious board of the Kamehameha Schools to the first former trustee convicted of a criminal offense.
Green said that Lindsey was never driven by personal motives but always had Kamehameha Schools' children at heart.
"She's been through more than most people have been through," Green said. "It's a very sad, sad day."
The Associated Press and Star-Bulletin reporter Rick Daysog contributed to this report.
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