Woman arrested, charged in welfare fraud 05-19-05

HAWAII COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT
EAST HAWAII CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION SECTION
DETECTIVE ROBERT F. WAGNER
PHONE: 961-2380
MAY 19, 2005

Photo of Gabriella Donnelly

GABRIELLA DONNELLY
…held on $75,000 bail

MEDIA RELEASE

Big Island police have arrested and charged a 54-year-old Hilo woman for more than 20 years of welfare fraud.

East Hawaii Criminal Investigation Section detectives charged Gabriella Victoria Donnelly with first-degree theft and first-degree identity theft. She is currently being held in the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Donnelly, a citizen of Switzerland, had allegedly assumed the identity of Karen Johnston, 51, who was killed in a 1977 automobile crash in Idaho.

Since 1983, Donnelly had been illegally receiving welfare benefits amounting to more than $100,000 in services.

Police said investigator Wayne Ayudan of the Department of Human Services’ Kona Branch conducted the welfare fraud investigation.

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