Kaneshiro, alleged co-conspirators tried to frame woman for crime

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The federal charges against ex-city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro stem from an alleged try to go after a girl for a criminal offense she didn’t commit as a favor to distinguished marketing campaign donors.

Along with Kaneshiro, the indictment names 4 co-defendants ― marketing campaign donors who all work for architectural and engineering agency Mitsunaga & Associates.


They’re accused of conspiracy to commit trustworthy companies wire fraud and bribery.

Based on the indictment, Kaneshiro and his co-conspirators ― high-profile businessman Dennis Mitsunaga, Terri Otani, Aaron Fujii and Chad McDonald ― allegedly labored to border a former Mitsunaga & Associates worker for a criminal offense she didn’t commit.

A state choose later dismissed the felony fees towards the previous worker for lack of possible trigger.

The alleged motive for the body job? The previous worker had sued the agency for discrimination after being fired.

In trade, federal prosecutors stated, Mitsunaga and his community and staff made some $50,000 in contributions to Kaneshiro’s reelection campaigns between 2012 to 2016.

As a part of the conspiracy, federal authorities say Kaneshiro met with Mitsunaga and his lawyer on Oct. 4, 2012, to speak about submitting felony fees towards Mitsunaga’s former worker.

Three weeks later, prosecutors say, firm government Aaron Fujii, Mitsunaga, his spouse, his lawyer, and a enterprise accomplice contributed a complete of $13,250 to Kaneshiro’s marketing campaign. About three months later, Mitsunaga’s niece ― Terri Otani ― Mitsunaga and his spouse contributed one other $10,000 to Kaneshiro’s marketing campaign.

These contributions got here 4 days after Mitsunaga and Kaneshiro allegedly had a lunch assembly over the case.

Victor Bakke, a protection lawyer, stated to show the case authorities will possible current witness testimony, emails and different paperwork linking the contributions to Kaneshiro’s alleged position within the false prosecution.

“Lots of their case is predicated on circumstantial proof,” Bakke stated. “They don’t seem to have someone instantly handing Mr. Kaneshiro cash and asking him to do one thing to earn that cash.”

Kaneshiro and all 4 co-defendants pleaded not responsible in court docket Friday afternoon. Their trial is about for the week of August 16.

Prosecutors stated the allegations towards the ex-Mitsunaga worker had been “baseless.”

“This indictment alleges a Honolulu businessman and others paid $50,000 in marketing campaign contributions to Honolulu’s former Prosecuting Legal professional to prosecute a former worker,” stated U.S. Legal professional Randy Grossman, within the Southern District of California.

“Public officers should conduct their affairs truthfully and with integrity. The Division of Justice will work to carry accountable anybody who betrays that responsibility by means of the affect of bribes.”

White-collar crime knowledgeable and former Choose Randal Lee known as the allegations jaw-dropping.

“It truly is a black eye to the Workplace of the Prosecuting Legal professional,” Lee instructed Hawaii Information Now on Friday. “Candidates run for workplace and folks give cash, clearly. This sort of indictment signifies how the donation labored.


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