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Bookkeeper Sentenced for Embezzlement Against Maui Surfer

Wendy Osher · July 12, 2017, 12:08 PM HST (Updated July 13, 2017, 5:24 AM) · 13 Comments
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A Maui bookkeeper was sentenced to 2 years and 11 months in prison for her role in an embezzlement scheme that bilked Maui professional surfer, Clay Marzo and his mother out of more than $373,000.

Clay Marzo. File photo: Dooma

Felicidad Alcon Rivera was also ordered to pay $373,182.55 in restitution to Marzo and his mother, Jill Clark for the aggravated felony.

The decision was handed down by Judge Susan Oki Mollway in federal court on Monday.

Rivera was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud in October of 2016 in connection with her work as a bookkeeper for Marzo and his mother.  That complaint alleged that Rivera wrote herself 193 checks over six-and-a-half years from the accounts of Marzo and his mother.

Rivera was sued by the US Trustee in US Bankruptcy Court on July 5, 2017 under a complaint that made the same allegations.  The complaint further stated that Rivera also allegedly made 87 electronic transfers to her personal JPMorgan Chase credit card.  Combined with the checks, CMarzo Inc. (Marzo’s company) and The Mothership, LLC (Clark’s vacation rental maintenance business) allegedly lost funds totaling $373,682.

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According to the US Trustee filing, “The debtor concealed her fraudulent conversions by falsely representing to Jill Clark that the business funds for CMI or The Mothership, LLC were required to pay legitimate business expenses, when in truth, such funds were fraudulently converted by the Debtor to her own use.”  The complaint further alleges that Rivera fraudulently altered accounting records to conceal the personal use of funds without authorization.

The filing further alleges that Rivera transferred: more than $33,000 to one of her sons to assist him with rent, food, utilities, gas and living expenses; more than $19,7000 to BMW for her daughter’s boyfriend’s car loan and auto insurance; more than $8,800 to Wells Fargo and other creditors to pay for her husband’s car loan and other unsecured debts; more than $4,700 to Wells Fargo for the benefit of another son to pay for a car loan; an estimated $335 to Expedia Travel Agency for her son’s airfare; $210 for her son’s personal expenses; and $3,179.83 to Beacon House to pay for her son’s medical expenses.

Representatives with Yanagida & Associates on Maui say Rivera is subject to deportation.  According to the law firm, Rivera has entered into a settlement agreement with the US BK panel trustee (different from the US Trustee) to surrender her home to him for the benefit of creditors, including Marzo. That settlement is subject to approval of the BK court.  Attorneys say her mortgagee had given notice that she had defaulted on the payments.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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