Janitorial contractor is charged in public theft
The owner of a janitorial and landscaping company that was awarded contracts to maintain city facilities stole about $100,000 from the city and taxpayers, prosecutors allege.
An Oahu grand jury indicted Nelson Aguinaldo, 42, president of Diversified Janitorial Services Inc., on four counts of theft and one count each of racketeering and money laundering that allegedly occurred over a five-year period beginning in 2000.
Circuit Court Judge Derrick Chan granted prosecutors' request for $100,000 bail.
Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter sought the high bail, arguing that the circumstances and nature of the charges and the continuing nature of the conduct made Aguinaldo a flight risk.
Two of the theft charges stem from Aguinaldo's alleged failure to provide the required number of workers for jobs at the Kapolei Police Station and Ke Kula Makai, the HPD training center in Waipahu.
Van Marter said Aguinaldo charged the city the full contract price but pocketed the difference, an amount estimated at $22,203.
Aguinaldo also paid his employees substantially less than prevailing public employee wages, resulting in lost wages of more than $64,000, Van Marter told the court.
Aguinaldo is also accused of taking "paper products" from the city worth between $300 and $20,000 and selling them to a private company that he contracted with.
Companies that have janitorial contracts with the city receive toilet paper, toilet seat covers, paper towels and other items with which to stock city facilities.
The proceeds from the thefts were allegedly deposited into his company's bank account and commingled with legitimate earnings, Van Marter said. Aguinaldo allegedly used part of the proceeds from the thefts to continue operating his business, paying company salaries and expenses.
Van Marter said the matter is under investigation and that other charges could follow, but he declined to elaborate.
Aguinaldo, reached Thursday at his company's Aiea office, deferred comments until he has spoken to his lawyer.