Makawao Woman Indicted for Alleged Wire Fraud Against Maui SurferOctober 19, 2016, 7:56 AM HST (Updated October 20, 2016, 3:03 PM) · 1 Comment
A Makawao woman was indited on 13 counts of wire fraud last week in connection with her work as a bookkeeper for Maui professional surfer, Clay Marzo and his mother.
Felicidad Rivera, 51, entered not guilty pleas to the charges during her initial court appearance on Monday.
According to the federal indictment, Rivera allegedly wrote herself 193 checks over six-and-a-half years totaling over $330,000 from the accounts of Marzo and his mother.
According to court documents, Marzo was 15, when he won several national titles and even a car in a National Surfing Association competition. He also became one of the world’s top ranked freestyle surfers, attracting a number of sponsors.
Attorneys for the prosecution say both Marzo and his mother Jill Marie Clark (formerly Jill Marie Marzo) have disabilities that limited their ability to monitor the bookkeeper’s activity. According to the complaint, Marzo suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and Clark has severe dyslexia.
The indictment also alleges that Rivera paid over $75,000 of her own Chase card charges from Marzo’s account, in 87 transactions from May 2012 to September 2015. The indictment further claims that Rivera allegedly concealed her transactions with phony entries in the Quickbooks ledgers that she was maintaining.
A criminal trial is set for December in US District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi. Marzo’s lawsuit against Rivera in US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Hawaiʻi is set for June.