Criminal Justice

Mistakenly Believing Immunity Applied, Ex-Diplomat's Son Stole $300K from Law Firm

In a new twist on an all-too-familiar crime, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reports that a former office manager stole $300,000 from a local law firm because he believed, as a former diplomat’s son, that he was immune from prosecution.

Nigel Salmingo, 31, pleaded guilty in state court in Hawaii last week to 37 counts of theft, forgery and money laundering concerning the money he took from Winer Meheula & Devens between 2007 and 2009. The son of a former Philippines consulate general to Hawaii in the 1990s, he will be deported when he has served his sentence because he is not a citizen.

Salmingo reportedly used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle. He escaped detection for 18 months as he had the law firm’s bank and credit statements sent to his home and made false entries in its books to conceal his crimes, the article says.

He faces maximum terms of 10 years on first-degree theft and money laundering counts and five years on the other counts when he is sentenced next year. However, regardless of what amount of time he gets, Salmingo probably will be released in 18 months to two years, his lawyer, Michael Green, tells the newspaper.

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