Roberta Cabral

Investigation of HI Union Non-Profit Deepens

As one person was sentenced for defrauding a union-controlled non-profit group, another was indicted for witness-tampering in relation to a search of that non-profit and the union that controlled it.

On Oct. 30 of this year, the U.S. Attny. for the Dist. of Hawaii charged Aaron Rutledge with persuading an unnamed individual to destroy and withhold records and "objects" sought by fed. investigators on Oct. 30, 1997. That day, the agents were searching the offices of the non-profit, Unity House, and Local 5 of the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees union (HERE). They also searched the home of Aaron's grandfather, Art, frmr. chief of Local 5 and founder of Unity House, a non-profit established to benefit members of Local 5 and the Hawaii Teamsters union. Reportedly, the agents seized computer files and bundles of cash that day.

Hawaii Businesswoman Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Union Member Benefits

On June 17, Roberta Cabral pled guilty in a Honolulu federal court to defrauding a non-profit organization established to benefit members of HERE Local 5 and the Intl Bhd. of Teamsters.

First, Cabral admitted to not filing tax returns for $50,000 in commissions she received in 1994 for her role in a $10 million investment made by the union non-profit, Unity House, Inc. She laundered the commissions through  a British Virgin Islands corporation she controlled and used for the concealment of her income.

Second, she admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Unity House with her now deceased co-defendant Roderick Rodriquez.  According to the plea agreement, Cabral and Rodriquez a conspired to "pad" the budget of a one-hour television project funded by Unity House entitled "Heavenly Road", later known as "Blue Hawaii", for which she was to receive a kickback of $150,000. Cabral also pled guilty to two more counts of tax evasion for 1992-93. She was indicted on April 25, 2001, after a joint investigation by the Honolulu office of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Office of Labor-Mgmt. Standards, the IRS and FBI.

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