Scammer faces victim's family in court

By Cam Tran
Published On: Jul 03 2013 03:17:00 PM HST

Insurance agent Scott Akashi apologized in court for scamming nearly $40,000 from elderly clients.

HONOLULU -

Former insurance agent Scott Akashi admitted on Wednesday to scamming nearly $40,000 from an elderly man and woman.

"You stole her innocence, her peace of mind and her feeling of security," said Michelle Beckett, the victim's granddaughter.

Akashi swindled her grandmother Lily Ching out of $28,000 by convincing her to cash out her life insurance policy.  The betrayal still stings.

"My grandmother didn't want to be here today because she did not want to face Scott Akashi," said Beckett.

Prosecutors say Akashi asked Ching to open up a Bank of Hawaii account.  After that, he would drive her to the bank to cash out some of her checks.

"You fooled my grandmother into thinking you were a good man and that you had her best interest at heart," said Beckett.

Akashi used similar tactics on a 90-year-old man and bilked $10,000 from his account.

"I just trusted him," said scam victim Hiroichi Koza.  "I didn't know anything.  What his company policy was.  If he did explain, I would understand more."

Akashi's attorney said his client is a frequent gambler and stole money to pay those debts.

"I was horrified and disappointed at myself for stealing and disgusted that I picked older and vulnerable people to do it from," said Akashi.

The 32-year-old man pleaded no contest to 11 counts of theft and was sentenced to 24 days in jail and five years probation.

Beckett was pleased.

"It was fair.  It was what I wanted," said Beckett.  "I wanted Scott's name to be brought to the public for him to know the hurt he's caused my grandma and my family."

Akashi's parents paid back both victims for the money their son stole.  He could have faced a maximum of five years behind bars for each theft count.

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