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Embezzler gets 10-year prison term


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POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A former personal assistant to retired newspaper executive Thurston Twigg-Smith was sentenced in Circuit Court yesterday to 10 years in prison for stealing more than $329,000 from her former employer.

;[Preview] Woman Sentenced 10 Years For Stealing From Twigg Smiths
;[Preview]
 

Holly Green, the defendant was hoping to avoid both prison and a criminal record.

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Holly Green, 45, pleaded guilty in September to one count of first-degree theft and 46 counts of second-degree forgery.

Green admitted cashing pre-signed checks on the Thurston Twigg-Smith Group account over 30 months beginning July 2004 to pay off five personal credit cards.

Circuit Judge Karen Ahn scheduled a hearing in April to establish how much restitution Green has to pay. The banks reimbursed Twigg-Smith much of the stolen money, said Chris Van Marter, deputy city prosecutor. Twigg-Smith is the former owner and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser.

Green's lawyer Donald Wilkerson told Ahn that his client's sister is offering to sign over a property in New York he says is worth $249,000 to pay back some of the money Green stole. He even tried to hand over a $5,000 check to Van Marter, and then to Twigg-Smith and his wife, to demonstrate his client's good faith effort to make restitution. They refused to accept the check.

The forged checks averaged between $7,000 and $8,000, Van Marter said.

Green said she used her credit cards to pay household expenses, including rent, because her husband had lost his job.

But Ahn said the credit card statements that Green provided do not indicate what she charged.

But Twigg-Smith's wife, Sharon, told Ahn she searched the computer Green used in her home and found that Green purchased trips to Disneyland, family vacations and parties for a hundred people for Halloween every year.

“;I did have a Halloween party. It was for kids. And I did take my daughter to Disneyland. But I would have done that anyway,”; Green said.

In addition to the cases involving the forged checks, Twigg-Smith said Green also made purchases on charge accounts she opened in Twigg-Smith's name, used her FedEx account for personal shipping, and made charges to her and her husband's company.