LIHU’E — A Kalaheo resident is in custody after allegedly stealing the identities of two people and reportedly piling up almost $20,000 in credit-card bills.
Kyle Ekimoto last week pleaded not guilty to four counts of identity theft and four counts of credit-card fraud.
Fifth Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe scheduled a jury trial for Ekimoto to begin Monday, April 17.
Lawyers in the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney filed a complaint against Ekimoto on Dec. 27.
According to the complaint, between June 1 and Dec. 11, Ekimoto allegedly used two identities he stole to open four credit card accounts.
Ekimoto, 23, is in custody at the Kauai Community Correctional Center in Wailua on $40,000 bail.
He was arrested Sunday, Dec. 11.
Court records show that Ekimoto was a bank teller for about six months, and that he was unemployed when he opened the credit-card accounts.
According to court papers, Ekimoto waived his rights, and made a statement to Kaua’i Police Department officers working on the case.
According to his statement, Ekimoto used the cards to make car payments, and to pay for gas and food.
He told investigators that he used one of the identities to open two accounts last summer by applying over the phone.
At the end of summer, according to his statement, Ekimoto used the identity of the second person to open two more accounts because he maxed out the limits on the first two cards.
In his statement to KPD investigators, Ekimoto said that the first person whose identity he stole confronted him when the banks started calling for payments.
He told that person he was in the process of getting a job, and that he had applied for unemployment.
Ekimoto told investigators that he apologized to the person, who then took all the credit cards away from him.
In his statement, Ekimoto told investigators, “I knew what I was doing was illegal. The crime is identity theft.”
According to court papers, Ekimoto racked up $7,072 on one card; $7,258 on the second card; $665 on the third card; and $4,953 on the fourth card.
Ekimoto faces four counts of second-degree identity theft. Each count is a ClassB felony, and carries a maximum prison time of 10 years, and a $25,000 fine.
Ekimoto faces four counts of creditcard fraud. Each count is a Class-C felony, and carries a maximum prison time of five years, and a $10,000 fine.
- Cynthia Kaneshiro, staff writer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or firstname.lastname@example.org.