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Kapaa man sentenced to 5 years for theft

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Posted: Friday, April 4, 2014 12:45 am

LIHUE — A Kapaa man who stole tens of thousands of dollars from the tour company he managed was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday in 5th Circuit Court.

Harley Morris, 42, was arrested on a charge of first-degree theft in August 2013. He was a manager at Kayak Kauai and reportedly manipulated canceled tour deposits and other transactions between June 17, 2011 and Sept. 17, 2012.

Morris has been held in custody for nearly eight months on this charge and for the parole violation it triggered. He apologized for “coming back” to court on the new charges.

State Deputy Public Defender John Calma said Morris agreed to the terms of a Nov. 7, 2013 plea deal, which requires a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 20 months. Calma asked the court to address the issue of restitution with the understanding that others were involved.

Calma said there were 122 bank transactions attributed to Morris, for an estimated total of $56,348.94. This is around $12,000 less than the victims claim, he added.

County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda Mendes said the victim’s total of $67,435 was appropriate. She asked to court to at least order the $56,348.94 amount with a standing restitution order until it is repaid in full.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano said the court would go by the Bank of Hawaii spreadsheets, which show a total of $64,404.02 attributable to transactions to a Morris account.

Morris had just been released from jail when he was hired by the parent company, Napali Outfitters Inc., to be a manager at Kayak Kauai. More than a year went by before the company found they had serious losses in what had been a banner year, according to a staff member.

Morris was sentenced to five years in prison for a second-degree assault charge in 2007. He was on parole when he committed the offense that he was sentenced for Thursday.

“This defendant, simply, is a career criminal,” said County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar. “When he is out of prison, he commits crimes, both violent crimes and property crimes. Unfortunately, prison is the only way to keep the community safe from this defendant.”

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