Former Big Island Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

Donna Alms, a former Big Island resident, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for defrauding Waste Management of Hawaii, Inc. of $862,722 over the course of four years.

According to information presented in court, Alms who currently resides in Las Vegas, NV, pled guilty in January 2018 to wire fraud and money laundering offenses that occurred while she was an operations specialist for Waste Management on the Island of Hawaii.

Alms’s duties included obtaining temporary laborers to pick litter from Waste Management’s landfill site, and to arrange for their payment through an outside vendor.

The vendor would then submit invoices to 55-year-old Alms for payment by Waste Management. During court proceedings, Alms admitted that she inflated approximately 247 invoices submitted to Waste Management by the vendor by cutting and pasting numbers onto a template that she maintained.

Alms’s activities caused Waste Management to pay the vendor $862,722 in costs above what was actually billed. Alms then directed the vendor to return $692,549 of the excess payments to her, calling them “wages” to disguise the nature, source, and ownership of the funds.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson imposed a 33 month sentence, noting that Alms’s conduct was elaborate and repetitive. Alms was also ordered to pay restitution of $862,722, and to serve a 3 year term of supervision following her release.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong.