Faifeau pleads for leniency in case of thieves who stole his checks
Two men, Benjamin Auvea and Jensen Save, pled guilty to stealing personal checks belonging to a Reverend and his wife and were sentenced to 20 months in jail, after the Reverend pleaded with the court to give them a second chance.
The pair had been facing four counts of stealing and four counts of forgery.
In the plea deal, they each pled guilty to one count of stealing and one count of forgery while the remaining charges were dismissed. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement in this matter. Prior to sentence being handed down, the defendants pleaded with the court for a second chance, and admitted that they were both remorseful and would not repeat this behavior.
The defendants also apologized to the faifeau whose checks they stole and pleaded with the court to release them from jail to return home and care for their families, as well as giving them the opportunity to seek jobs so they could repay the Reverend’s money.
Auvea’s sister took the stand and pleaded with the court on behalf of her brother asking that he be released to help her in caring for their parents, while Save’s mother in tears sought for a second chance for her son, who is a father of five.
Save’s mother said her son was the only one working in their family and that luckily for his son, his five kids are living off of WIC checks. Assistant Public Defender Mike White also pleaded with the court for a probated sentence in both these cases.
The faifeau whose checks were stolen also spoke before the court informing the Judges the personal checks were stolen from his car at a mechanic shop where the defendants hang out. The faifeau told the court he’s not really worried about the money, rather if the court allows, he’s willing to help the two men by providing advice and guidance in their lives.
Richmond sentenced the defendants to seven years in prison however execution of sentencing was suspended and the defendants placed on probation for a period of seven years under certain conditions.
The defendants were sentenced to serve 20 months in jail, however the court noted that upon serving six months in jail, the pair can motion for work release. The defendants were also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,267.08.
According to the government’s case, a faifeau's wife reported to police that a checkbook belonging to her and her husband was missing from her home in December 2012. However she was surprised that her Bank of Hawaii account was overdrawn when she attempted to withdraw funds.
On January 11, 2013 the victim was contacted by an Asian man, who owns a store in Kokoland, and who later showed the victim her checks, which were not in her handwriting and did not have her signature.
The storeowner informed the victim that in December and January the defendants came into his store and both gave him the checks. Court filings say, both defendants told the storeowner they worked for the victim. The government claims, police questioned Auvea who said they both had the checkbook belonging to the victim and together they signed the checks and used them to buy beer and food at least on three occasions. Save told police the signatures on the checks were his.
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