Santos pleads noBy Debra Barayuga
contest, blames others
in Pop Warner case
The attorney for a 30-year-old man charged with stealing Pop Warner fund-raiser money and using it to take his family on a five-day trip to Las Vegas said he did not plan to intentionally defraud the parents and children.
Deputy Public Defender Debra Loy said Shane Santos has acknowledged that his actions were wrong but disputes the extent of the charges and feels others who failed to turn in the money so he could purchase the pigs are also to blame. "He's charged with a crime and they're late with the money."
Santos yesterday pleaded no contest to four counts of second-degree theft, second-degree attempted theft and third-degree theft in connection with the theft of about $8,000 in kalua pig monies and to second-degree theft of $2,250 that was intended for travel expenses.
Santos disputes those figures, claiming he only took $5,000.
The Manoa Pop Warner was raising money to send two teams to defend its title at a bowl game in Las Vegas last December.
Santos offered to purchase the pigs at cost from an uncle who owned a pig farm in Waianae, butcher, cook and package the kalua pig for pick-up by ticket holders on Nov. 20.
But when others didn't fulfill their responsibilities by turning in the required money by a deadline so he could purchase the pigs, Santos "panicked," Loy said.
He didn't want to be present to witness the kids' disappointment, so "He took his family to Vegas to avoid the crush of oncoming bad news," she said.
Santos did not gamble away the money but spent it on meals and accommodations for his family, Loy said.
Loy said she will ask the court to grant Santos probation with community service as a condition. Community service is most appropriate, she said, because Santos has no means of repaying the parents and ticket holders.
Santos faces five-year terms on each of the theft charges, with possible extended terms, when he is sentenced Nov. 15.