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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:14 p.m., Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Former Salvation Army employee indicted

Advertiser Courts Writer

A former Salvation Army official who handled large gifts was indicted by an O'ahu grand jury this morning on seven felony charges accusing him of stealing $150,000 that was supposed to go to the charitable organization. The money allegedly was stolen from a 77-year-old man.

Timothy Janusz, 48, was arrested last week and charged with theft and money laundering, but city prosecutors obtained the indictment charging the Kailua resident with five additional felony counts.

Janusz had been held on $1 million bail, but Circuit Judge Derrick Chan at the prosecutor's request set new bail of $5 million.

The seven charges include first-degree theft, money laundering, unlawful ownership or operation of a business and forgery. The charges -- except for forgery, which carries a prison term of up to five years -- each carry a maximum 10-year prison term.

City Deputy Prosecutor Chris Van Marter told the judge that Janusz is under investigation for other "potential offenses" he committed at the Salvation Army that dealt with real property and donations.

Van Marter said Janusz's criminal record includes a 5 1/4-year federal sentence for a 1996 wire fraud conviction related to the theft of $2.2 million from an elderly Colorado couple, but Janusz escaped in January 1997 and wasn't recaptured until a year later.

Janusz still faces a federal indictment charging him with escaping from a South Dakota prison camp, Van Marter said.

Van Marter said Janusz was on supervisory release for the wire fraud conviction until January this year.

Janusz was hired by the Salvation Army in July 2003 as a planning giving director. He was placed on administrative leave and fired last week after the allegations against him surfaced.

Salvation Army officials said they did not do criminal background checks for employees when Janusz was hired, other than for those who worked with children, but are now considering expanding the checks to other potential employees.

Janusz will later be arraigned in Circuit Court, at which time he will get a trial date.