Vehicle-records fraud said to last years
A city employee arrested Monday for bribery allegedly had been updating vehicle registrations for half price and pocketing the money for more than 10 years, according to court records submitted by Honolulu police.
Police released the employee, a 50-year-old Aiea man, without charges pending further investigation.
According to the court records, the employee of the city Department of Customer Services charged an unidentified cooperating informant about 50 percent of the actual cost for updating motor vehicle registrations for at least 10 years.
The employee also charged the informant 70 percent to fraudulently update the registrations for commercial vehicles, such as trucks and trailers, and fraudulently updated registrations for personal and commercial vehicles for the informant's family members, the records said.
City Customer Services Department Director Jeff Coelho said he learned of possible improprieties in certain vehicle registration transactions April 24.
Two days later the city placed the man, a city employee for more than 15 years, on administrative leave. He has not returned to work.
Coelho said the city immediately opened an internal investigation and turned over the results to police.
According to state law, one of the ways bribery can occur is when a public servant solicits, accepts or agrees to accept, directly or indirectly, any monetary benefit to influence his actions as a public servant.