Robin Rodrigues Sabatini

Supreme Court Declines to Review Case of Hawaii Pair

They went down fighting to the very end.  And while nobody will question the tenacity of Gary Rodrigues and his daughter, Robin Rodrigues Sabatini, a good many might question their soundness of judgment and even mental well-being.  This past February, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it had declined to hear their appeal.  Rodrigues, former longtime Hawaii state director of the United Public Workers, had been convicted in November 2002 by a Honolulu jury on dozens of criminal charges, including mail fraud, conspiracy, money-laundering and embezzlement in connection with the theft of about $380,000 in union funds.  Free on bail, he began serving a five-year prison sentence this past January.  His daughter, convicted on dozens of charges herself and sentenced to 46 months in prison, had laundered much of the money through her “consulting” operations.  It was an outcome neither could accept.

Judge Orders Hawaii Father, Daughter to Serve Sentences

Gary Rodrigues and his daughter, Robin Rodrigues Sabatini, don’t know the meaning of the word “quit.”  In their case, that’s not such an admirable trait.  Back in 2002, the two were convicted in federal court on nearly 200 charges of criminal misconduct, including embezzlement, mail fraud and money-laundering, in connection with the disappearance of nearly $380,000 from the United Public Workers (UPW).  Rodrigues, 65, had been state director of the Honolulu-based union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  Sabatini was a union contractor.  This past June, a federal appeals court in Hawaii affirmed the decision and prison sentences.  But the pair is pulling out all the stops to avoid their fate.  Now the court is signaling that its patience is limited.

Hawaii Boss, Daughter Lose Appeal on Fraud Convictions

Gary Rodrigues and Robin Rodrigues Sabatini are a persistent father and daughter team.  But persistence doesn’t necessarily pay off.  And in their case, it probably shouldn’t.  Late in August the U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, rejected a request by the pair to have a larger panel of 15 judges rehear their appeal of convictions on dozens of charges, including mail fraud, money laundering and embezzlement.  They had been accused of defrauding the 12,000-member United Public Workers, where Rodrigues had served as state director.  Beginning in 1992, alleged prosecutors, Rodrigues funneled union “consulting” fees into his daughter’s two companies, in return receiving nonexistent work.

Federal Court Upholds Convictions of Hawaii Boss, Daughter

Fathers have a lot to teach their offspring, and unfortunately, that includes the finer points of stealing from a labor union.  Escaping detection may be easy for a while, but if and when caught, the culprits aren’t likely to come up with too many convincing alibis.  On June 11, a federal appeals court in Hawaii belatedly upheld mail fraud, money-laundering and embezzlement convictions of a powerful state labor chieftain and his daughter.  Gary Rodrigues, former state director of the United Public Workers, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, had been sentenced in 2003 to more than five years in prison following his conviction the previous fall.  His daughter, Robin Rodrigues Sabatini, received a sentence of three years and 10 months for helping her father defraud the union through her consulting firms.  Each had been free while appealing their convictions.

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