HPD Officer Pleads No Contest In Fraud Case

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BY JIM DOOLEY – Yet another Honolulu police officer has run afoul of the law.

Cheyanne Garcia, 29, pleaded no contest yesterday to one count of insurance fraud and one count of attempted second-degree theft, the Attorney General’s Office announced.

Garcia has been with HPD for three years and has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of her case, the department said today.

She has asked the court to defer acceptance of her no-contest plea when she is sentenced January 11 by Circuit Judge Colette Garibaldi.

If the judge grants a deferral, the charges against Garcia would be erased if she satisfactorily completes a period of court supervision.

The maximum penalty for the offenses, both felonies, is five years of imprisonment.

Deputy Attorney General Rodney Shinsato said Garcia “essentially provided false information to an insurance company, GEICO Indemnity Co.”

The offenses occurred between June and July of last year.

Garcia is also the subject of Small Claims Court complaint filed by another auto insurance company, Fireman’s Fund.

That complaint alleges that Garcia was driving an uninsured vehicle that collided with another vehicle June 23, 2010.

The collision caused some $2,200 in damage to the other vehicle, which Fireman’s Fund is attempting to collect from Garcia.

The cases are the latest in a series of recent legal problems for HPD officers.

An arrest warrant has been issued for former officer Michael Tarmoun, 38, convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a Waikiki prostitute.

Tarmoun, who was on the force but off duty at the time of the assault, allegedly threatened to arrest the victim if she did not have sex with him.

The arrest warrant was issued after Tarmoun failed to appear for sentencing last week.

HPD Major Carlton Nishimura is awaiting federal trial on charges including extortion, attempted witness tampering and making false statements.

That case is allegedly connected to illegal game room operations in Honolulu.

Defense lawyers have charged in legal papers recently filed in the case that a principal prosecution witness has admitted giving false testimony about Nishimura to the federal grand jury that indicted him in February.

Another HPD officer is currently under investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit for allegedly sexually assaulting a shoplifting suspect last month while he was on duty, according to KITV4News.

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