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.

The day after Aaron Rutledge’s indictment, Roberta Cabral was sentenced by Sr. Judge Manuel L. Real (U.S.D.Ct., Cent. Dist., CA, Johnson) to ten months in prison, 2,500 hrs. of community service, and restitution of $25,000 to Unity House. Cabral admitted on June 17 to defrauding Unity House by padding the budget of a documentary funded by the non-profit organization. [U.S.A.O. D. HI, 10/30/02, 10/31/02: Honolulu Advertiser 10/31/02]