Skip to main content
Press Release

Former financial officer of Big Island charter school pleads guilty to wire fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Kelaukila Estabilio, 39, of Hilo, Hawaii, pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count of wire fraud by embezzling funds from the charter school where she worked. Sentencing is scheduled for May 19, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson.

U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawaii stated that according to court documents and information presented in court, from 2006 through January 2019, Estabilio worked for the Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School. The charter school also had a financial support entity, Ho’oulu Lahui. Estabilio was the financial officer of the charter school and responsible for managing the books and records. From approximately 2012 through 2019, Estabilio misused the charter school’s funds to pay for her and her family’s personal credit card bills totaling around $628,835. Estabilio falsified the books and records of the charter school to conceal her embezzlement activities for years.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the State of Hawaii Attorney General’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Perlmutter for the District of Hawaii.


Ashley Mah Edwards

Updated February 4, 2020

Financial Fraud