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Tuesday, May 7, 2024
IBEW 1186 Employee Hit With $44K Embezzlement Charge
By News Release @ 3:24 AM :: 1310 Views :: Ethics, Labor


News Release from Hawaii Attorney General, May 6, 2024 

HONOLULU, HI – Attorney General Anne Lopez announced today that Lilinoe Smith was criminally charged for allegedly embezzling approximately $44,367 in union dues from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local Union 1186.

Smith, 44, was charged with Theft in the First Degree by the Department of the Attorney General’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Division, after an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards. She turned herself in for arrest to the state Sheriffs this morning.

The charging documents submitted in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit provide that from October 2018 through July 2021, Smith allegedly stole individual union members’ dues money and allegedly falsified union records to conceal the theft.

“Stealing from union members is a serious breach of trust. Union members expect that when they pay their dues that the money is being used for union business. My department will work to ensure that anyone who steals union resources will be held accountable,” said Attorney General Anne Lopez. “I’d like to thank the U.S. Department of Labor for their thorough investigation and for their continued collaboration with my Department as we move forward with prosecuting this matter.” 

“An important mission of the U.S Department of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards is to promote financial integrity and safeguard union funds and assets,” said Ed Oquendo, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. “We are committed to seeking justice on behalf of union members when anyone puts personal financial gain ahead of the best interests of their membership. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate these types of allegations.”

Smith’s arraignment is scheduled for Monday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m. The case is State v. Lilinoe Smith, 1CPC-24-0000444. 

Theft in the First Degree is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $25,000.

Smith is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

* * *

2024: 1CPC-24-0000444 - State v. Lilinoe Smith

2023: 1CCV-23-0001149 - IBEW Local 1186 v. Smith

HNN: Woman charged for allegedly embezzling over $44,000 in union dues

KITV: Union official charged with embezzlement of union dues 

SA: Lilinoe Chris Yen Smith, who worked for the union for 14 years, allegedly executed an undisclosed scheme from about Oct. 10, 2018, until July 12, 2021


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