Former Rightstar executive sentenced
John Dooley, former chief executive with Hawaii cemetery and funeral operator Rightstar, appeared before Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall today to make a tearful statement during the sentencing phase of his first-degree theft case today.
Dooley was charged with stealing $50,939 from 28 RightStar customers and was named as a central figure in a $30 million civil fraud suit filed by the state.
He was sentenced today to a five-year term of probation, a one-year prison term (he's already served prison time) and ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.
Dooley ran the RightStar group of companies from 2001 until 2004, when a foreclosure suit put the firms into a court-supervised receivership that continues today.
RightStar owns Valley of the Temples and Diamond Head Mortuary on Oahu, Maui Memorial Park, and Homelani and Kona Memorial Parks on the Big Island. RightStar also owns several companies that sell and administer pre-need funeral plans, including the 50th State Funeral Plan.
In 2004, Attorney General Mark Bennett's office sued Dooley and a group of associates, including former Gov. John Waihee, alleging that they conspired to improperly remove as much as $30 million from trust accounts held for 50,000 customers who had purchased "pre-need" funeral plans from RightStar.