WAILUKU - A Kahului woman was ordered to repay $20,153 in welfare benefits she received while not reporting that her employed boyfriend was living in the household.
Patricia Lynn Kalua, 29, also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service as part of being placed on five years' probation Tuesday.
She had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree theft and welfare fraud.
Kalua asked for a chance to keep the convictions off her record.
She is no longer with the boyfriend, who was using the address of her residence and staying there "on occasion," said Deputy Public Defender Danielle Sears.
She said the boyfriend, who is the father of Kalua's children, was "helping a little bit, never enough."
Deputy Prosecutor Jeffery Temas opposed Kalua's request to keep the convictions off her record. From March 2009 to May 2010 and from January to July 2011, Kalua "collected a substantial amount of welfare benefits," while sharing the household with the father of her children, who earned more than $50,000 during the period, Temas said.
Also during the period, Kalua filled out multiple applications and reporting forms for benefits, Temas said. "Not once did she report the boyfriend's presence in the household," he said.
The welfare fraud was uncovered by a state Department of Human Services investigation that included more than 150 pages of documents, he said.
"This loss is to the community," Temas said. "These are welfare benefits that could have gone to other needy individuals."
Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza denied Kalua's request for a chance to keep the convictions off her record. He said the charges covered a "significant period of time with a number of opportunities to resolve any confusion that may have existed."
"Frankly, there really was a great deal of misleading information that was provided that caused a significant amount of money to be paid," Cardoza said.
He also ordered Kalua to write a letter of apology.