Florence and Gerard Puana haven’t yet given up their fight with Katherine Kealoha.
The Puanas’ civil lawyer, Gerald Kurashima, filed a motion in state court last week asking for a new trial in a case that he says Kealoha won through a series of lies, fraud and deception, some of which occurred while she testified under oath.
Kealoha, a former city prosecutor, was convicted in June of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for trying to frame Gerard Puana for the theft of her mailbox in June 2013.
Katherine Kealoha’s grandmother, Florence Puana, just turned 100.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Her husband, retired Honolulu police chief Louis Kealoha, was also convicted along with two other officers for taking part in the set-up.
Federal prosecutors said the motive for the set-up was a civil lawsuit Kurashima filed on the Puanas’ behalf against Katherine Kealoha in March 2013 accusing her of fraud and elder abuse.
According to the lawsuit, Kealoha had bilked the Puanas out of hundreds of thousands of dollars via a reverse mortgage on Florence’s home and a shady investment scheme.
Kealoha, however, won the civil suit in February 2015 even as the FBI was investigating.
The jury in the case awarded her $658,000 in damages, money the Puanas are hoping to avoid paying now that Kealoha is a convict.
The Puanas also hope to get back $108,000 Kealoha’s legal team garnished from Florence Puana’s bank account to pay for their attorneys fees.
Kurashima appealed the verdict, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be successful, especially considering the criminal case had no bearing on the arguments in large part because it was still pending when he challenged the civil jury’s decision.
The motion for a new trial is a different matter altogether.
Kurashima’s argument is based almost entirely on new evidence that came to light in the criminal case that prosecutors used to convince jurors that Kealoha forged documents and created a fake persona all in an attempt to defraud the Puanas.
You can read Kurashima’s motion here:
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