Realtor featured on TV show charged with welfare fraud

KAILUA-KONA — A local real estate agent, who appeared on HGTV’s Hawaii Life, and her husband are accused of illegally obtaining more than $20,000 in welfare benefits while the Realtor allegedly earned hundreds of thousands in commissions.

Jene Nichole Green and Charles N. Green III, also known as Trey Green, of Ocean View, are each charged with a single count of first-degree theft, according to 3rd Circuit Court records. Hawaii County prosecutors filed the case on Sept. 17, and a $2,000 bench warrant remains active.


Reached Monday afternoon, Jene Green said she was unaware of the criminal case, and declined comment.

According to a declaration in support of the charges, an investigator with the state Department of Human Services Benefits, Employment and Support Services Division began looking into the case in April of this year after an eligibility worker noticed discrepancies in the reported income for the Green household. The eligibility worker had “Googled” Jene Green and came across her listings with Hawaii Life Real Estate that indicated she’d sold more than 157 properties valued at $29 million.

The state investigation reportedly determined that the Jene Green wrongfully obtained SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits totaling $27,241 between January 2016 and April of this year by not accurately reporting her true income as a real estate agent.

The investigator declared that between Jan. 1, 2015, and April 15 of this year, Green was paid $360,158.03 in commissions though she only reported making approximately $3,000 to $4,000 during the period.

First-degree theft is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment upon conviction.

A check of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affair’s Professional and Vocational Licensing Division showed Jene Green’s real estate licence good through December 2020. The division was unable to respond as of press time Monday as to how it handles licensing of a person accused — not convicted — of a crime.


West Hawaii Today reached out to Hawaii Life Real Estate for comment on the matter although the allegations are unrelated to the business or its operations other than Jene Green was a Realtor salesperson. The company declined comment having no information on the case.

Hawaii Life is a reality show aired by HGTV. The show featuring home buyers looking to make their island dreams come true has filmed 13 seasons since first airing in 2013. It’s unclear if the network has canceled or picked up a 14th season of the show.

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