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State briefs for December 21

Historian seeks historic designation for World War II hut

HONOLULU — A Hawaii historian and researcher is looking to preserve an old Quonset hut on Oahu that was possibly part of a segregated encampment for black laborers and enlisted men during World War II.

Deloris Guttman, who works with the African American Diversity Council Center Hawaii, is seeking to add the steel structure in Pearl City to the National Register of Historic Sites.

The building was likely part of the U.S. military’s Manana Barracks.

“It was a storage house for the supplies for the 100 Quonset huts that were there in 1943 and ‘44,” Guttman said.

The Manana Barracks were the temporary homes of some famed African American athletes and musicians, including jazz legend John Coltrane, Guttman said.

“We have that history and their photographs, where they were entertaining at different clubs here on the island during World War II,” she said.

The building is on land owned by the University of Hawaii. It is on the site of the Oahu Urban Garden Center.

The university is willing to donate the building or relocate it off its property, university spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said. Designating the site as historic could place financial burdens on the university for repair and maintenance.

“There are a lot of questions that have to be answered, regarding public access, providing safe public access, lighting, the structure itself, its integrity, its safety,” Meisenzahl said.

Guttman is presenting her petition for historic recognition to the state Historic Preservation Division next month.

Accounting firm employee admits stealing $250K

HONOLULU — A former employee of a Honolulu accounting firm pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday to one count each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for using clients’ personal and financial information to steal more than $250,000.

Crystal Carvalho-Pakchong, 35, faces a mandatory two-year prison term for the aggravated identity theft plus up to 30 years for the wire fraud at sentencing in April. As part of her plea deal with the government, Carvalho-Pakchong has agreed to forfeit to the government $63,646 and pay restitution in the same amount.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment in May charging Carvalho-Pakchong with 50 counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft in stealing $250,086 from the accounting firm’s clients to pay her expenses and debts and those of her family.

Carvalho-Pakchong told U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard L. Puglisi that she was working as a tax processor assistant when she committed her crimes. She admitted stealing money from clients’

accounts at Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and Fidelity Investments by opening accounts at banks and brokerage houses in

the clients’ names and transferring money into the new accounts or to her own credit card and brokerage accounts.

She admitted carrying out the scheme from sometime before August 2016 to Feb. 27 last year, one day before FBI agents questioned her as a target of an identity theft investigation. Court records did not name her employer at the time.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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