Katherine Kealoha would plead guilty to three felonies, including bank fraud, under a proposed plea agreement between Kealoha and federal prosecutors, attorneys involved in the case say.

Alexander Silvert, a federal public defender who represented Katherine Kealoha’s uncle, Gerard Puana, in a federal criminal trial, which ended in a mistrial, over the theft of the couple’s mailbox said a plea hearing is set for next Tuesday to seal the deal. U.S. District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright must still sign off on the agreement.

The former deputy city prosecutor and her husband,  former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha were convicted in June of conspiracy and obstruction charges by a federal jury for conspiring to frame Puana for the theft. Sentencing in that case is set for Oct. 31.

Katherine Kealoha leaves District Court after jury came to verdict.
Katherine Kealoha, shown here leaving federal court after being convicted on conspiracy charges, has accepted a plea agreement that will resolve bank fraud and other felony charges. Her husband, Louis Kealoha, right, also is part of the plea deal, attorneys say. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But the couple is still scheduled to go to trial in January for bank fraud and other charges over allegations that they stole money from banking institutions and the trust funds of children that Katherine Kealoha was a guardian for. Katherine Kealoha faces additional obstruction and identity theft charges.

If the deal is approved, that trial would no longer happen, nor another one Katherine Kealoha was scheduled to face in May with her younger brother, Rudolph Puana, who is an anesthesiologist on Hawaii island. They were accused of running a prescription drug trafficking ring. Puana would still face charges or reach his own deal.

Silvert, the federal public defender, said as part of the proposed plea agreement, Katherine Kealoha would plead guilty to felonies including bank fraud and identity fraud.

For the identity fraud count, she would face two consecutive terms of two-year prison sentences, he said. Altogether, she would be looking at about 15 to 18 years in prison, which is much higher than the eight years her attorney Earle Partington has been saying.

Not much has been revealed about Louis Kealoha’s proposed plea agreement, other than that he would be pleading guilty to a count of bank fraud, Silvert said.

Rustam Barbee, who represents Louis Kealoha, was more careful.

“There is not a deal until it’s signed,” he said. “We’re in negotiation.”

Meanwhile, Louis Kealoha filed for divorce Tuesday, indicating in his complaint that the marriage to Katherine Kealoha was irretrievably broken. He also indicated that his wife, who is currently housed at the Federal Detention Center, should not be entitled to any spousal support.

Katherine Kealoha’s attorney for the bank fraud and drug cases, Gary Singh, could not be reached for comment.

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