Allennie Naeole, 55, a resident of Kaunakakai, Hawaii, and Janell Purdy, 40, a resident of Wailuku, Maui, were arrested on November 13, 2017, as a result of a federal indictment charging them with embezzling more than $1 million from a Molokai federal credit union over a seven year period of time.
Elliot Enoki, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that a federal grand jury returned a fifteen-count indictment against Naeole and Purdy on November 8, 2017. The indictment charged both individuals with conspiring to embezzle, and embezzling, funds belonging to the First Hawaiian Homes Credit Union (“First Hawaiian Homes”) on Molokai between 2008 and 2015. According to the indictment, Naeole and Purdy were the only two permanent employees of First Hawaiian Homes, and were responsible for conducting all of its banking transactions and maintaining its books and records. The indictment alleges that the two individuals issued checks from First Hawaiian Homes’ accounts to pay personal expenses for Naeole and her family members, including credit card bills and car payments. Naeole and Purdy also withdrew more money than was on deposit in their own bank accounts and those belonging to their family members, and used the money to pay personal expenses. The withdrawals created negative balances in the accounts, which Naeole and Purdy concealed by making fictitious entries in First Hawaiian Homes’ records.
The indictment also alleges that Naeole took steps to conceal the embezzlements from First Hawaiian Homes’ board of directors and the National Credit Union Administration (“NCUA”), which insured its assets. According to the indictment, Naeole falsified records, created a letter bearing a forged signature and falsely claiming that First Hawaiian Homes had assets at another bank, and created a fictitious email account to communicate with the NCUA.
The indictment charges both individuals with one count of conspiracy and six counts of embezzlement, and Naeole with one count of making a false document and one count of aggravated identity theft. An indictment is merely an accusation, and Naeole and Purdy are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up to thirty years’ of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000, as to each of the embezzlement charges, and up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy charge. Naeole separately faces up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for the false document charge, and a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for the aggravated identity theft charge.
Naeole was arrested on Molokai, and Purdy was arrested on Maui. Purdy was brought to federal court, where she pled not guilty to all charges and was released on bail. Trial was set for January 9, 2018 before United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson. Naeole will be arraigned on the charges on November 14, 2017.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Treasury Department, Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Maui County Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Perlmutter.