OFFICE OF THE U.S. TRUSTEE
David C. Farmer, Successor Trustee
United States District Court, District of Hawaii
~ ~ ~
CAROL K. MURANAKA
U.S. Department of Justice
Carol K. Muranaka, is the Assistant U.S. Trustee replacing Gayle Lau, who retired; former attorney for the IRS involved in the Summit Communications and Liberty House bankruptcies; defended former U.S. Interior Secretary and former U.S. Energy Secretary Donald P. Hodel in the case of Puna Speaks vs. Hodel. Ms. Muranaka is the current Secretary of the Hawaii State Bar Association.
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (09-19-10): More evidence of undisclosed financial, professional, political, and personal relationships between Trustee David Farmer; James Nicholson; Steven Guttman; Colbert Matsumoto, Judges William S. Richardson, David Ezra, Kevin Chang, Elizabeth Hifo, Barry Kurren, Rey Graulty, Mark Recktenwald, James Duffy; Governors George Ariyoshi, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Linda Lingle; Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate; Yukio Takemoto; Gil Tam; Bank of Hawaii; Donna Tanoue; Barack Obama; Bill Clinton; and others related to this case:
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (08-30-10): More evidence of undisclosed conflicts of interest between David Farmer, Mark Recktenwald, Bishop Estate, President Bill Clinton, President George Bush, President Barack Obama, Gov. John Waihee, Gov. Ben Cayetano, Gov. Linda Lingle, Margery Bronster, Earl Anzai, Hugh Jones, Lyn Anzai, Guido Giacometti, Kenneth Hipp, Sukamto Sia, Bank of Honolulu, Bob Awana, Diane Plotts, First Hawaiian Bank, Dee Jay Mailer, Faye Kurren, Donna Tanoue, Bank of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Co., Constance Lau, Ron Rewald, etc.:
* * * * *
* * * * *
NEW DISCOVERY (06-07-09): Re: Undisclosed relationships of Steve Goodfellow, Linda Lingle, Mufi Hannemann, Charmaine Tavares, Hawaiian Telcom, Eric Yeaman, Walter Dods, First Hawaiian Bank, Bishop Museum, Timothy Johns, Mark Polivka, Carlyle Group, Sandwich Isles Communications, Robert Kihune, Gil Tam, Bank of Hawaii, Paul Allaire, Lucent Technologies, Judith Neustadter Fuqua, Carol Muranaka, David Farmer, Dan Inouye, Central Pacific Bank, Daniel Akaka, Neil Abercrombie, Norman Mineta, AIG, Aon, Colbert Matsumoto, Island Insurance Co., Roy Hughes, Colleen Hanabusa, Micah Kane, Larry Mehau, Liberty House, etc.
~ ~ ~
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (05/14/09):
Zoominfo Profile for Carol Muranaka
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (04/02/09): More undisclosed conflicts of interest between Carol Muranaka, Judge Lloyd King, Dane Field, David Farmer, etc., in the Aloha Airlines bankruptcy case:
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (03/30/09): Undisclosed conflicts of interest between Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the United States Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee, Curtis Ching, Carol Muranaka, Guido Giacometti, Susan Tius, Sukamto Sia, Bank of Honolulu, Diane Plotts, Bob Awana, Linda Lingle, Citigroup, Robert Rubin, Bill Clinton, John Waihee, Ben Cayetano, Goldman Sachs, Colbert Matsumoto, Henry Peters, Matsuo Takabuki, Richard Wong, Jeff Stone, Oswald Stender, Gerard Jervis, Lokelani Lindsey, Nathan Aipa, Colleen Wong, Louanne Kam, John Candon, Clifford Laughton, Timothy Johns, Bishop Museum, Nainoa Thompson, Mark Polivka, Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo (fka Bambi Weil), Judge Lloyd King, Judge Robert Faris, Judge David A. Ezra, Judge Barry Kurren, Mary Lou Woo, James B. Nicholson, David C. Farmer, Steven Guttman, etc.:
Ownership of the properties
By Peter Wagner, Star-Bulletin
But with court confirmation and another round of bids possibly ahead, ownership of the property is yet to be determined.
Clifford Laughton, president of the Reno-based Nevada Holdings Ltd. and chief executive at Honolulu-based satellite company Columbia Communications Corp., yesterday made the winning bid of $4,000,100.
Laughton's bid topped a $4 million offer by Citibank N.A., the only other bidder at a foreclosure auction at the state courthouse yesterday.
The leasehold properties include 31 residential units, a penthouse, two commercial spaces occupied by Sprint Hawaii and Fujikami Florist and 65 parking stalls.
The heavily mortgaged 41-story building, at 1088 Bishop Street also includes a 120-room Aston hotel, retail outlets including Long's Drugs and Ross Dress For Less and nearly 300 residential units.
The entire property was appraised last year at $39.5 million.
Citibank, the major creditor in a foreclosure action against one of Sia's company's, MKS Executive Partners, took possession last month of most of the 41-story building in a complex bankruptcy deal in which Sia's estate will receive about $500,000.
Citibank affiliate EXCT L.P. took ownership of about 400 units on July 28.
Sia, currently in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in November 1998.
While Citibank yesterday allowed itself to be outbid by $100, the sale is far from over. Under rules of the foreclosure, new bids may be entertained at confirmation but must be at least 5 percent above the auction price.
Foreclosure commissioner John Candon said at least three parties who were silent during yesterday's auction have asked when the confirmation hearing would be. No date has been set.
Laughton yesterday said he would likely honor existing leases at Executive Centre if he remains the high bidder. He said the units are a good investment because of depressed property values and a strong rental market in the downtown area.
While Executive Centre was once a key holding of Sia in Honolulu, the bankruptcy trustee was unable to liquidate the property for creditors because Sia held no equity in it.
His ownership in the building was through MKS Executive Partners, one of his numerous companies.
The 40-year-old businessman owes nearly $300 million to casinos, banks and creditors around the world.
~ ~ ~
July 8, 2004
Hawaiian Air owes $129M, IRS claims
The airline's bill for more than two years of underpayments
By Dave Segal, Star-Bulletin
The Internal Revenue Service is seeking nearly $129 million from Hawaiian Airlines for the underpayment of federal excise and corporate income taxes over more than two years.
The IRS claim, filed in federal Bankruptcy Court, seeks $84.1 million in taxes, $4.3 million in interest and $40.5 million in penalties. The airline industry excise taxes, which cover such areas as fuel and transportation, are for 2001 and 2002 and the first two quarters of 2003. The corporate income tax claims are for $43.1 million in 2001 and $19.7 million in 2002.
Most of the claim covers time before the airline's Chapter 11 reorganization filing on March 21, 2003, when John Adams was chairman and chief executive of the company. He was removed two months later by Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Faris for financial decisions he made involving the airline's $25 million stock tender offer in 2002.
Hawaiian Airlines had been aware that the federal agency was conducting an audit for 2001 and 2002, but airline trustee Joshua Gotbaum, who took over the company in July 2003, called the magnitude of the claim "unjustified."
"We believe the estimate is substantially overstated and expect the claim will be greatly reduced by the bankruptcy court," Gotbaum said. "Hawaiian Airlines has been providing detailed information and cooperating fully with the IRS over the past year."
The state Department of Taxation also has filed a claim with Bankruptcy Court but lists the amount it is seeking as "unknown."
State Tax Director Kurt Kawafuchi said he does not know how much the state might seek from the airline in back taxes.
"We definitely will follow up on it and will do whatever we can to protect the state's interest," Kawafuchi said. "We need to look into what the IRS was making as claims to see if we have parallel state adjustments, and if we do, we'll do whatever steps we can to protect the state's rights."
Hawaiian Airlines, which expects to emerge from bankruptcy this fall, has received claims in excess of $500 million since filing for reorganization. Insiders connected with the case expect the number of legitimate claims to end up around $300 million.
The IRS claim is the largest so far in the case, just ahead of a $110 million claim by aircraft lessor Ansett Worldwide.
Insiders say the amount that Hawaiian ultimately pays likely will be considerably less than what the IRS is seeking.
For example, the IRS initially sought $138 million from bankrupt Hawaii retailer Liberty House but ended up settling $103 million of that claim for $4.2 million and capped the remainder at $14 million.
Carol Muranaka, special assistant U.S. attorney, said the two cases cannot be compared because they are different taxpayers. She declined to discuss any details about the Hawaiian Airlines case due to privacy issues.
"The government always tries to determine the correct amount of tax," Muranaka said. "We filed the proof of claim because we believe we have determined the correct amount of tax that is due."
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (10-11-08): Additional facts regarding conflicts of interests between Steven Guttman and numerous parties related to this case:
~ ~ ~
RE: CV05-00030 - David Farmer vs. Harmon - Exhibit: "The Freedom To Sing"
Saturday, September 20, 2008 2:00 AM
From: "Bobby Harmon"
To: "David Farmer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Steven Guttman" <email@example.com>, "Carol K. Muranaka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: "Michael Mukasey <AskDOJ@usdoj.gov> ACLU Hawaii" <email@example.com>, "All Representatives" <reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "All Senators" <sens@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "Andrew Walden" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Andrew Winer" <email@example.com>, "Aon Insurance Managers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Arnold T. Phillips" <email@example.com>, "Arthur Rath" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Barry M. Kurren" <email@example.com>, "Benjamin Kudo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Blossom Tong" <email@example.com>, "Bradley Tamm" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Carl Morton" <email@example.com>, "Charles Goodwin" <HONOLULU@FBI.GOV>, "Charles Hurd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Colbert Matsumoto" <email@example.com>, "Craig Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dane Field" <email@example.com>, "Dave Shapiro" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "David A. Ezra" <email@example.com>, "Dee Jay Mailer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dorothy Sellers" <email@example.com>, "Exececutive Office for U.S. Trustees" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hugh Jones" <email@example.com>, "Insurance Division Fraud Branch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "J C Shannon" <Hapa1234@aol.com>, "James B Nicholson" <email@example.com>, "James B. Farris" <Farrisj@adr.org>, "James Cribley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Duca" <email@example.com>, "James Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Wriston" <email@example.com>, "Jeffrey Sia" <Jeff.Sia@excite.com>, "Jeffrey Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jim Dooley" <email@example.com>, "Jo Ann Uchida" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Joe Moore" <email@example.com>, "John D. Finnegan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "John Goemans" <email@example.com>, "Judge Lloyd King" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Judith Neustadter" <Judy@tiki.net>, "Judson Witham" <email@example.com>, "Ken Conklin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Kenneth Hipp" <email@example.com>, "Kevin S.C. Chang" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lawrence Reifurth" <email@example.com>, "Linda Lingle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lyn Flanigan Anzai" <email@example.com>, "Margery Bronster" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Marsh Affinity Group" <email@example.com>, "Michael N. Tanoue" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michelle Tucker" <email@example.com>, "Nathan Aipa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Office of Inspector General Civil Rights Complaints" <email@example.com>, "Office of the U.S. Trustee District of Hawaii" <firstname.lastname@example.orgV>, "Paul Alston" <email@example.com>, "Peter Carlisle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Randall Roth" <email@example.com>, "Rick Daysog" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert Bruce Graham" <email@example.com>, "Robert F. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robin Campaniano" <email@example.com>, "Roy F. Hughes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Samuel P. King" <email@example.com>, "Susan Tius" <STius@rmhawaii.com>, "V K Durham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Valerie U. Katz" <email@example.com>, "William K Slate" <Websitemail@adr.org>, "Jim Terrack" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Don Michak" <email@example.com>, "Rocco Sansone" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Ted Pettit" <email@example.com>, "Mark Burch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Laura Thielen" <email@example.com>, "Michael Moore" <MMFlint@aol.com>, "John D Zalewski" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert M. Kohn" <email@example.com>, "Haunani Apoliona" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Malia Zimmerman" <Malia@hawaiireporter.com>, "CPCU Society Hawaii Chapter" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Independent Insurance Agents Assoc." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hawaii Insurance Bureau Inc" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Insurers Council" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press" <email@example.com>, "CND 48 Hours" <48Hours@CBSnews.com>, "American Bar Association" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Electronic Frontier Foundation" <email@example.com>, "First Amendment Center" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Council for the National Interest Foundation" <email@example.com>, "Free to Know-Hawaii" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "ImpeachBush.org" <email@example.com>, "Wayne Madsen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "National Whistleblower Center" <email@example.com>, "Editor New York Times" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Greg Palast" <email@example.com>, "Pension Benefit Guaranty Association" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Public Citizen" <email@example.com>... more
Dear Mr. Farmer, Mr. Guttman, Ms. Muranaka & All Concerned:
Due to the discovery of NEW FACTS, I am updating the subject Exhibit and the witness information for U.S. Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, which you will find attached and on-line at:
As Judge David Ezra's Order constitutes a PRIOR RESTRAINT of my freedom of speech -- and that of all others who published their opinions in The Catbird Seat website, I regret that I must continue to submit each of these new and updated exhibits and witness descriptions for your review and approval in the event they may contain any prohibited "Protected Subject Matter". If you would like to avoid this approval process, then I would again suggest that we attempt a good-faith settlement of this case through confidential negotiation or mediation.
Your prompt reply will be appreciated.
Very truly yours,
Bobby N. Harmon, CPCU, ARM
Related internet references:
~ ~ ~
The First Amendment Handbook
A prior restraint is an official restriction of speech prior to publication. Prior restraints are viewed by the U.S. Supreme Court as "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights." Since 1931, the Court repeatedly has found that such attempts to censor the media are presumed unconstitutional.
In the 1976 landmark case Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, the Court addressed the constitutionality of an order prohibiting the media from publishing or broadcasting certain information about Erwin Charles Simants, who was accused of murdering the Henry Kellie family in a small town in Nebraska. This case pitted the First Amendment rights of a free press against the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial.
To ensure that Simants received a fair trial, the Nebraska Supreme Court modified the district court's order to prohibit reporting of confessions or admissions made by Simants or facts "strongly implicative" of Simants.
On appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the prior restraint order. The Court emphasized that the use of prior restraint is an "immediate and irreversible sanction" that greatly restricts the First Amendment rights of the press. "If it can be said that a threat of criminal or civil sanctions after publication `chills' speech, prior restraint `freezes' it at least for the time," Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote for the Court.
To determine whether the prior restraint order was justified, the Court applied a form of the "clear and present danger" test, examining whether "the gravity of the `evil,' discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid the danger."
In applying this test, the Court articulated a three-part analytical framework, which imposed a heavy burden on the party seeking to restrain the press. First, the Court examined "the nature and extent of the pretrial news coverage." Second, the Court considered whether other less restrictive measures would have alleviated the effects of pretrial publicity. Finally, the Court considered the effectiveness of a restraining order in preventing the threatened danger.
The Court found that the trial judge reasonably concluded that the "intense and pervasive pretrial publicity" in the Simants case "might reasonably impair the defendant's right to a fair trial." However, the trial judge did not consider whether other measures short of a prior restraint order would protect the defendant's rights. The trial judge should have considered changing the location of the trial, postponing the trial, intensifying screening of prospective jurors, providing emphatic and clear instructions to jurors about judging the case only on the evidence presented in the courtroom or sequestering the jury.
The Court also found that the effectiveness of the trial judge's prior restraint order to protect Simants' right to a fair trial was questionable. Because the prior restraint order is limited to the court's territorial jurisdiction, it could not effectively restrain national publications as opposed to publications within the court's jurisdiction.
Moreover, it is difficult for trial judges to draft effective prior restraint orders when it is hard "to predict what information will in fact undermine the impartiality of jurors." Finally, because this trial took place in a town of 850 people, rumors traveling by word of mouth may be more damaging to the defendant's fair-trial rights than printed or broadcasted news accounts. In short, the probability that the defendant's fair-trial rights would be impaired by pretrial publicity was not shown with "the degree of certainty" needed to justify a prior restraint order.
Because the "barriers to prior restraint remain high and the presumption against its use continues intact," prior restraint orders are rarely upheld. As a result, editorial decisions about publication of information the government deems sensitive are generally left solely to the discretion of news organizations. Nevertheless, government officials and private individuals occasionally attempt to stop publication....
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (09-19-08): More undisclosed conflicts of interests between parties named in Defendant’s RICO lawsuit and the U.S. Department of Justice (Plaintiff), Mark Bennett, Hugh Jones, Dorothy Sellers, Margery Bronster, Earl Anzai, Lyn Anzai, Henry Paulson, AIG, Chubb Group, ACE, Aon, Marsh & McLennan, Goldman Sachs, Henry Peters, Robert Kihune, Douglas Ing, Louise Ing, Aloha Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Joshua Gotbaum, Judge Kevin Chang, Faye Watanabe Kurren, The Nature Conservancy, Judge Barry Kurren, Judge David Ezra, James Nicholson, Linda Lingle, Ben Cayetano, John Waihee, OHA, AIPAC, David Farmer, Steven Guttman, etc:
CV05-00030 - David Farmer vs. Harmon -
Friday, September 19, 2008 12:53 AM
From: "Bobby Harmon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>iew contact details
To: "David Farmer" <email@example.com>, "Steven Guttman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Carol K. Muranaka" <email@example.com>
Cc: "Michael Mukasey <AskDOJ@usdoj.gov> ACLU Hawaii" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "All Representatives" <reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "All Senators" <sens@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "Andrew Walden" <email@example.com>, "Andrew Winer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Aon Insurance Managers" <email@example.com>, "Arnold T. Phillips" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Arthur Rath" <email@example.com>, "Barry M. Kurren" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Benjamin Kudo" <email@example.com>, "Blossom Tong" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Bradley Tamm" <email@example.com>, "Brian E. Schatz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Carl Morton" <email@example.com>, "Charles Goodwin" <HONOLULU@FBI.GOV>, "Charles Hurd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Colbert Matsumoto" <email@example.com>, "Craig Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Curtis B. Ching" <Curtis.B.Ching@usdoj.gov>, "Dane Field" <email@example.com>, "Dave Shapiro" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "David A. Ezra" <email@example.com>, "Dee Jay Mailer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dorothy Sellers" <email@example.com>, "Excecutive Office for U.S. Trustees" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hugh Jones" <email@example.com>, "Insurance Division Fraud Branch" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "J C Shannon" <Hapa1234@aol.com>, "James B Nicholson" <email@example.com>, "James B. Farris" <Farrisj@adr.org>, "James Cribley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Duca" <email@example.com>, "James Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James Wriston" <email@example.com>, "Jeffrey Sia" <Jeff.Sia@excite.com>, "Jeffrey Watanabe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jim Dooley" <email@example.com>, "Jo Ann Uchida" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Joe Moore" <email@example.com>, "John D. Finnegan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "John Goemans" <email@example.com>, "Judge Lloyd King" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Judith Neustadter" <Judy@tiki.net>, "Judson Witham" <email@example.com>, "Ken Conklin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Kenneth Hipp" <email@example.com>, "Kevin S.C. Chang" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lawrence Reifurth" <email@example.com>, "Linda Lingle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Louise Ing" <email@example.com>, "Lyn Flanigan Anzai" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Margery Bronster" <email@example.com>, "Marsh Affinity Group" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Matt Tsukazaki" <email@example.com>, "Michael N. Tanoue" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michelle Tucker" <email@example.com>, "Na Kumu Book Project" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Nathan Aipa" <email@example.com>, "Office of Inspector General Civil Rights Complaints" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Office of the U.S. Trustee District of Hawaii" <email@example.comV>, "Paul Alston" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Peter Carlisle" <email@example.com>, "Randall Roth" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Rick Daysog" <email@example.com>, "Robert Bruce Graham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert F. Miller" <email@example.com>, "Robin Campaniano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Roy F. Hughes" <email@example.com>, "Samuel P. King" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Susan Tius" <STius@rmhawaii.com>, "V K Durham" <email@example.com>, "Valerie U. Katz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "William K Slate" <Websitemail@adr.org>, "Jim Terrack" <email@example.com>, "Don Michak" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Rocco Sansone" <email@example.com>, "Ted Pettit" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Mark Burch" <email@example.com>, "Laura Thielen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michael Moore" <MMFlint@aol.com>, "John D Zalewski" <email@example.com>, "Robert M. Kohn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Haunani Apoliona" <email@example.com>, "Malia Zimmerman" <Malia@hawaiireporter.com>, "DC Bureau Office of Hawaiian Affairs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "CPCU Society Hawaii Chapter" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Independent Insurance Agents Assoc." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hawaii Insurance Bureau Inc" <email@example.com>, "Hawaii Insurers Council" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Manuel Valenzuela" <email@example.com>... more
Dear Mr. Farmer, Mr. Guttman, Ms. Muranaka & All Concerned:
Due to the discovery of NEW FACTS, I am adding the subject Exhibit which you will find on-line at:
As Judge David Ezra's Order constitutes a PRIOR RESTRAINT of freedom of speech, I regret that I must continue to submit each of these new and updated exhibits and witness descriptions for your review and approval in the event they may contain any prohibited "Protected Subject Matter". If you would like to avoid this approval process, then I would again suggest that we attempt a good-faith settlement of this case through confidential negotiation or mediation.
Your prompt reply will be appreciated.
Very truly yours,
Bobby N. Harmon, CPCU, ARM
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (06-24-08):
Final Decree entered
Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 8:17 PM
From: "Steven Guttman" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Bobby Harmon" <email@example.com>, "David Farmer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michael Mukasey" <AskDOJ@usdoj.gov>, "Kevin Chang" <email@example.com>, "Robert Faris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Barry M. Kurren" <email@example.com>, "Carol K. Muranaka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "J P Schmidt" <email@example.com>, "Janet Kamerman" <HONOLULU@FBI.GOV>, "Mark Bennett" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Hugh Jones" <email@example.com>, "Linda Lingle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Mediation Center of The Pacific" <email@example.com>, "Sheryl Nicholson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Robert Bruce Graham" <email@example.com>, "James Wriston" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Andrew Winer" <email@example.com>, "James Cribley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lawrence Goya" <email@example.com>, "Pension Benefit Guaranty Association" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "James B Nicholson" <email@example.com>, "Executive Office for U.S. Trustees" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Office of Inspector General US Dept of Justice" <email@example.com>, "George Will" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Haunani Apoliona" <email@example.com>, "Leroy Colombe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Scott Helman" <email@example.com>, "Bob Nichols" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Laura Thielen" <email@example.com>, "Barry Taniguchi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Paul Achitoff" <email@example.com>, "Laurie Bennett" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dave Shapiro" <email@example.com>, "Gail Kim-Moe" <Gkim.firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Marshall Chriswell" <email@example.com>, "Greg Palast" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dee Jay Mailer" <email@example.com>, "Laser Haas" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michael Moore" <email@example.com>, "Texas Observer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Brian W. Bisignani" <email@example.com>, "Aon Insurance Managers" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "William Burgess" <email@example.com>, "Brian E. Schatz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Patricia Case" <email@example.com>, "Cheryl Nakamura" <CNakamura@rmhawaii.com>, "Bill Yuen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Randall W. Wulff" <email@example.com>, "Karen Spiller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Andrew Killgore" <email@example.com>, "Patrick Leahy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Pamela A. McCullough" <HONOLULU@FBI.GOV>, "James Duke Aiona" <email@example.com>, "Ken Conklin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "William H. Donaldson" <email@example.com>, "Ian Lind" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jim Terrack" <email@example.com>, "Andrew Walden" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "All Senators" <sens@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "All Representatives" <reps@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "Thomas Fitton" <email@example.com>, "Stew Webb" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Judson Witham" <email@example.com>, "J C Shannon" <Hapa1234@aol.com>, "Jeff Biener" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "V K Durham" <email@example.com>, "Richard Grove" <Richard@8thEstate.com>, "Bradley Tamm" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Susan Tius" <STius@rmhawaii.com>, "Paul Alston" <email@example.com>, "John Goemans" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "William K Slate" <Websitemail@adr.org>, "Lissa Andrews" <email@example.com>, "John D. Finnegan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Terry Mullen" <email@example.com>, "Margery Bronster" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Michael N. Tanoue" <email@example.com>, "Neil Ambercrombie" <Neil.Abercrombie@mail.house.gov>, "Lyn Flanigan Anzai" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Lorraine Inouye" <seninouye@Capitol.hawaii.gov>, "Samuel P. King" <email@example.com>, "Arthur Rath" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Randall Roth" <email@example.com>, "Rick Daysog" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jim Dooley" <email@example.com>, "Robin Campaniano" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Blossom Tong" <email@example.com>, "Sammye Richardson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Daniel Hopsicker" <email@example.com>, "Richard L Righter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Dirk Kempthorne" <email@example.com>, "Jeffrey Sia" <Jeff.Sia@excite.com>, "Jim Babka" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Truth" <email@example.com>, "J. C. Jones" <JCJJONES@aol.com>, "Dane Field" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jeffrey Watanabe" <email@example.com>
Message contains attachments
LT var 6-24-08.pdf (112KB)
Please see attachment
Kessner Umebayashi Bain & Matsunaga
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY - 06/13/08: DAVID FARMER HAS UNDISCLOSED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITH THE ALOHA AIRLINES BANKRUPTCY CASE, JUDGE LLOYD KING, JUDGE ROBERT FARIS, DAVID BANMILLER, JEFFREY KESSLER, DANE FIELD, CAROL MURANAKA, others...:
June 13, 2008
No $600,000 bonus
Judge rejects request, saying airline's
BY RICK DAYSOG, Advertiser Staff Writer
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King yesterday rejected a bonus request of up to $600,000 for former Aloha Airlines CEO David Banmiller, saying Banmiller should not "make a windfall off a collapse of the company."
Aloha, the state's No. 2 carrier, shut down its passenger service on March 31 and laid off 1,900 workers with little prior warning.
When an attorney argued it would be fair to pay a bonus to Banmiller and former Aloha Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Kessler as they work to sell parts of the company, King said:
"I don't think fairness is an appropriate thing to discuss unless you want to talk about fairness to people who lost their jobs on virtually no notice (and) the hardship that has been imposed upon thousands of people. Now we have the top insiders potentially making a big score on this case. I think that's a very ugly aspect of this motion.
"It simply looks bad when the people who are with the company can make more money when it's going out of business than when it is a going concern."
Last month, the airline's court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, Dane Field, proposed paying Banmiller and Kessler incentives for helping sell off the carrier's assets. Under the plan, the two would get $50,000 each if the sale of Aloha's air cargo operations, contract services division and other assets fetches $19.25 million or more.
The two could receive as much as $600,000 each if the sale of Aloha's remaining assets fetches more than $26.5 million.
Those payments would be made by Aloha's chief lender GMAC Commercial Finance LLC from the proceeds of the asset sales.
The bonuses are on top of the $500 an hour that Banmiller and Kessler are now being paid to help the airline sell off its assets. The hourly pay is capped at $25,000 a month.
Prior to the bankruptcy, Banmiller received $500,000 a year in base salary as Aloha's CEO. When hired as Aloha's CFO in 2005, Kessler and his Atlanta-based firm Tatum CFO Partners received $3,000 a week, or $156,000 a year.
When reached by phone yesterday, Banmiller and Kessler declined to comment.
Others fared poorly
During yesterday's hearing, King questioned why Banmiller and Kessler should receive a bonus when they were already being paid $500 an hour. He also asked why other airline industry consultants couldn't have been hired to do the same work.
"Should Mr. Banmiller and Mr. Kessler be singled out for such favorable treatment in a Chapter 7 (bankruptcy) case where the other employees of the company have come out so poorly?" King said.
Jim Wagner, attorney for Field, said his client played an important role in selling Aloha's cargo and contract services units, which saved more than 1,400 jobs and preserved a business that handles more than 85 percent of all air freight between O'ahu and the Neighbor Islands.
'working very hard'
Aloha Cargo was sold to Seattle-based Saltchuk Resources Inc. for $10.5 million and the contract services unit was sold to Los Angeles-based Pacific Air Cargo for $2.05 million.
"I think Mr. Banmiller or Mr. Kessler have been working very hard in good faith toward liquidating the estate's assets," Wagner said.
Douglas Lipke, an attorney for GMAC Commercial Finance LLC, said Banmiller's and Kessler's institutional memory are invaluable. They have extensive contacts in the airline industry and have the best handle on the value of assets, such as the company's receivables, Lipke said.
Former Aloha pilot John Riddel said the judge did the right thing in rejecting the bonus plan. Riddel said that many of the pilots who continued to fly Aloha's cargo planes after March 31 have not yet received their full pay.
Some are still owed about half their pay, Riddel said.
"We were improperly underpaid," he said.
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (05-22-08):
May 22, 2008
House subpoenas Karl Rove
By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday subpoenaed former White House top political adviser Karl Rove to testify about whether the White House improperly meddled with the Justice Department.
Accusations of politics influencing decisions at the department led to last year's resignation of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
The subpoena issued Thursday orders Rove to testify before the House panel on July 10. He is expected to face questions about the White House's role in firing nine U.S. attorneys in 2006 and the prosecution of former Gov. Don Siegelman of Alabama, a Democrat.
House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers had negotiated with Rove's attorneys for more than a year over whether the former top aide to President Bush would testify voluntarily.
"It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests," Conyers, D-Mich., said in a statement. "Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate."
"Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters," Conyers said.
Neither Rove nor his attorney, Robert Luskin, could be immediately reached for comment.
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (02-09-08): Kamehameha Schools made a “confidential” settlement agreement with the plaintiff in the John Doe vs. Kamehameha Schools case, which my former attorney, John Goemans, Esq., says, according to what he has learned from the IRS, violates the rules for a non-profit charitable trust:
February 9, 2008
An attorney involved in a challenge to Kamehameha Schools'
Hawaiians-only policy reveals the amount of a settlement
By Ken Kobayashi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Kamehameha Schools made the first move to settle a legal challenge to their admissions policy giving preference to native Hawaiians and later agreed to pay $7 million, a lawyer involved in the case said yesterday.
John Goemans, an attorney for an unnamed non-native Hawaiian student who filed a lawsuit contesting the policy, said the charitable trust offered for the first time to talk about an out-of-court settlement last May, just days before the U.S. Supreme Court was to decide whether to hear the case.
Goemans, a former Big Island attorney recuperating in Florida from heart surgery, and Sacramento, Calif., lawyer Eric Grant, the lead attorney, represented the unnamed student and his mother.
"They (the schools) approached Eric and said we wanted to settle and we have to settle by Friday morning," when it was believed the high court was to make a decision about accepting the case, Goemans said.
He said it appeared the high court would accept their appeal of an 8-7 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld the policy.
"They (the schools) were worried about losing in the Supreme Court," Goemans said.
Goemans said he did not know how Grant and the Kamehameha Schools arrived at the $7 million figure.
The hotly disputed federal civil rights lawsuit caused a firestorm of controversy among Kamehameha Schools supporters who believed the challenge struck at the more than century-old admissions policy and the heart of the charitable trust's mission to educate children of Hawaiian ancestry.
The confidential settlement was announced on May 14. Those connected with the case repeatedly refused to disclose the terms.
Goemans said he was disclosing the amount because he said he recently learned from Internal Revenue Service officials that Kamehameha Schools, a tax-exempt charitable trust, cannot keep the figure confidential.
"Because exempt organizations operate in the public good, you got to report all your expenses with particularity, and you cannot keep information relative to those expenses confidential," he said. "It's in the public interest to have full disclosure."
Ann Botticelli, Kamehameha Schools spokeswoman, said yesterday the settlement contained a confidentiality clause.
"We intend to honor the terms, and we will not be discussing the settlement or John Goemans' assertions," she said.
Grant said yesterday he had no comment.
Kamehameha Schools, a multibillion-dollar charitable trust and the state's largest private landowner, was established under the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. It educates more than 6,700 students at its flagship campus at Kapalama Heights, two other campuses on Maui and the Big Island, and 31 preschools throughout the state.
Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Kay upheld the school's Hawaiians-first policy, but a panel of the appeals court in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that the practice violated federal civil rights laws. That decision triggered statewide protests and marches by school supporters.
Later, a larger appeals court panel voted 8-7 to uphold the policy.
It was an appeal by Grant of that 8-7 ruling that was on the doorsteps of the U.S. Supreme Court when the settlement was announced.
At the time, school officials indicated that the settlement calling for the dismissal of the lawsuit leaves intact the appeals court's 8-7 decision upholding the admissions policy.
But the dismissal does not guarantee that another lawsuit might surface and make its way to the high court, although it would first have to go through the federal trial and appeals courts, where the 8-7 ruling would be considered to be binding on the issue. But even if those who file the new lawsuit lose on those two levels, they could still ask the high court to review the case.
Honolulu attorney David Rosen said he has plaintiffs for a lawsuit to challenge the admissions policy. He said the settlement does not affect his case. Rosen said he expects the suit will be filed this year.
Goemans said Grant received 40 percent, or $2.8 million of the $7 million. Goemans said he is preparing to file his own lawsuit seeking to recover a "reasonable percentage" of the $7 million for his work in the case.
Goemans said he found the unnamed student and arranged for Grant to be the attorney for the student and his mother.
"I put the whole thing together," Goemans said. "But for me there would not have been a $7 million payment."
The student never was admitted to Kamehameha Schools because his case was pending. He has since graduated from high school and had been attending college, Grant said last year.
~ ~ ~
February 9, 2008
Amount of settlement
By Robert Shikina, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporters and critics expressed surprise yesterday at the $7 million Kamehameha Schools paid a student to settle a lawsuit disputing its Hawaiians-first admission policy.
One Kamehameha Schools alumnus says disclosure of the settlement with the anonymous, non-Hawaiian student will prompt questions among Hawaiians.
"I'm not happy with $7 million," said Kamehameha Schools alumnus Jan E. Hanohano Dill. "Unfortunately, that's a lot of money, and it's going to create a lot of questions in the Hawaiian community whether it was right or wrong and to continue."
Dill, also a board member of Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, a nonprofit group whose members include students, parents, and alumni of Kamehameha Schools, said he continues to support the school's decision.
"I don't know the details, and I think that's something that has to be cleared," he said. "You settle because you want to avoid costs that would be incurred as you go forward."
He added, "I have to believe that they understood that this was something good for the Hawaiian people. ... It will be clear as things unfold whether that was true."
Dill, who is also president of the nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation, said the admissions policy must eventually be addressed and that the settlement avoids this case but does not stop other cases.
Marion Joy, former vice president of Na Pua, called the settlement a "misuse of trust funds."
"The trust is continually going to be challenged," she said. "This is not going to be the last. ... As far as settling for the particular lawsuit, it's not in the best interests of the beneficiaries (of the 1883 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop)."
Kamehameha Schools declined comment.
Honolulu attorney David Rosen, who has sought potential clients to sue Kamehameha over its admissions policy after the settlement, sent out a statement yesterday that said the $7 million settlement was used to "buy off this case."
He added that the trustees should open a campus on the Leeward Coast of Oahu and possibly Molokai where increased educational opportunities are needed.
H. William Burgess, a retired attorney and founder of Aloha for All, a group opposed to Hawaiian sovereignty, said the settlement raises questions about the proper use of the trust funds.
"Normally, trustees, if they're doubtful about doing something, they ask the court to give them instructions," he said. "Yet in this case, the biggest charitable trust, probably in the nation, instead of welcoming the opportunity to get the highest court in the land to settle it, they pay $7 million to leave it open. And it is very much open."
* * *
From The Catbird Seat website:
The Wise Old Owl asks: How much of the settlement amount came from Kamehameha’s insurance companies, and how much came from the trust funds? How much did Kamehameha Schools (and/or their insurance company) spend for defense costs in this case before they decided to settle? Who is their insurance company? Their insurance broker? Who actually signed the Settlement Agreement?
~ ~ ~
Executive Office for United States Trustees
For Immediate Release
U.S. TRUSTEE PROGRAM LAUNCHES
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The United States Trustee Program has launched an initiative to more aggressively use existing civil enforcement methods to curb abuse of the bankruptcy system, Martha Davis, Acting Director of the Executive Office for United States Trustees, announced today.
"Effective case administration is vital to ensure the American public that the bankruptcy system provides relief for honest but unfortunate debtors overcome by serious financial difficulties," Davis stated. "The Civil Enforcement Initiative emanates from the U.S. Trustee Program's long-standing commitment to enforce the Nation's bankruptcy laws and explore other meaningful strategies to bolster public confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the bankruptcy system."
"The priorities of the initiative will require a concerted effort nationwide to use existing tools in a way that best accomplishes tangible results and improvements for case administration," Davis continued. "Many of our offices use such strategies today and we hope to build upon their experience. By focusing our resources on these priorities, we also seek to address some of the concerns that have been at the forefront of debate in recent years both before Congress and in other public venues. In the end, this is very much a community effort that will require communication and cooperation with private bankruptcy trustees and with the bankruptcy bench and bar."
These are the priorities of the Civil Enforcement Initiative:
Ensuring that Chapter 7 is not abused and that Chapter 7 debtors are held accountable.
Chapter 7 debtors who do not comply with the law will have their cases converted or dismissed, or their bankruptcy discharges denied or revoked. Enforcement measures include motions to dismiss Chapter 7 cases under 11 U.S.C. §§ 707(a) and 707(b), and complaints to bar or defer discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727.
Protecting consumer debtors, creditors, and others who are victimized by those who mislead or misinform debtors, make false representations in connection with a bankruptcy case, or otherwise abuse the bankruptcy process.
Attorneys and bankruptcy petition preparers (non-attorneys who prepare bankruptcy documents for a fee) must engage in full disclosure, be free of conflicts of interest, and engage in ethical practices. Enforcement measures include motions for sanctions, contempt of court, and disgorgement under 11 U.S.C. § 329 for misconduct by attorneys, and complaints and motions under 11 U.S.C. § 110 for misconduct by bankruptcy petition preparers....
Fighting fraud and abuse by making criminal referrals and assisting United States Attorneys in criminal prosecutions.
The U.S. Trustee Program is a component of the Justice Department that oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases and intervenes in court to enforce the bankruptcy laws. There are 21 regions in the Program, each headed by a U.S. Trustee appointed by the Attorney General.
The Civil Enforcement Initiative took effect Oct. 1, 2001, with the start of the federal government's 2002 fiscal year. Previous U.S. Trustee Program initiatives have focused on issues such as enhancing the supervision of private trustees who administer Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, increasing the efficiency and speed of Chapter 7 case administration....
Jane Limprecht, Public Information Officer
Executive Office for U.S. Trustees
~ ~ ~
NEW DISCOVERY (11-20-07): Steven Guttman and Alan Ma are attorneys for Grayline Hawaii in their long-running bankruptcy case, with relationships to Kamehameha Schools’ Trustee J. Douglas Ing, and CEO Dee Jay Mailer:
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF HAWAI`I
In the Matter of the Application of GRAY LINE HAWAI`I, LTD. or Permanent Approval to Bifurcate Its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Operate in the Over-25 Passenger Classifications on the Islands Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai to Polynesian Adventure Tours, Inc
(DOCKET NO. 96-0217)
On the briefs:
Castroverde for appellants
Robert's Tours & Transportation,
Inc., PHT, Inc., Trans Hawaiian-
Hawai`i, Inc., Trans Hawaiian-
Kauai, Inc., Trans Hawaiian-
Maui, Inc., Trans Hawaiian-Oahu,
J. Douglas Ing, Wray H. Kondo,
and Teri Y. Kondo (of Watanabe,
Ing & Kawashima) for appellee
Jack's Tours, Inc.
Rodney H. Ushida for appellee
Aloha-State Tour & Transportation
appellee Gray Line Hawai`i, Ltd.
Thomas W. Williams and Peter Y.
Kikuta (of Goodsill Anderson
Quinn & Stifel) for appellees
Polynesian Adventure Tours, Inc.
and RDH Transportation Services,
~ ~ ~
November 19, 2007
Hawaii bankruptcies still active years later
By Jim Dooley, Advertiser Staff Writer
It's been almost 10 years since Sukamto Sia, the high-rolling former Honolulu bank owner and real estate dealer, filed a $300 million personal bankruptcy case — and it still hasn't been resolved.
Sia's case is not the oldest bankruptcy pending in Hawai'i. A computer search of court dockets showed that there are 22 open cases filed between 1992 and 2000, involving hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid debts.
Several of the bankruptcies generated financial and social shockwaves when they were filed. Sia's case was notable because of his flamboyant lifestyle and the related financial collapse of the Bank of Honolulu.
The old cases, while still unresolved, have dwindled away to obscurity.
As they drag out there is "less money ... to pay creditors," bankruptcy attorney Dawn Smith said. "Usually there are administrative expenses that have to be paid to attorneys, accountants, appraisers and so forth."
Those expenditures can result in recovery of money owed to the bankrupt estate and later distributed to creditors, but Smith noted that for creditors "waiting years and years for payment means they've lost the use of that money and interest it could have been earning."
The oldest active case is the 1992 Hamakua Sugar bankruptcy, in which one of the largest sugar plantations in Hawai'i closed its doors, throwing some 700 employees out of work and idling cultivation of some 35,000 acres of land on the Big Island. The bankruptcy case was first closed in 1999 but reopened in 2004 to deal with a $36,000 fuel rebate apparently owed to the bankrupt estate. That collection issue is unresolved.
According to paperwork filed when the case was reopened, even if the money is collected, it won't come close to paying all the bills in the case.
"The total amount of unpaid administrative (expenses) in this case is $1.2 million," the Office of the U.S. Trustee reported. "There are over 1,200 administrative claimants comprised of government agencies, former employees, landlords, professionals, and others."
The sisters were convicted in 2002 of federal money-laundering and tax charges connected to Marlene Lindsey's bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy remains open while Lokelani Lindsey, who once collected $1 million per year from the Bishop Estate and was one of the most powerful and controversial women in Hawai'i, makes $300 monthly restitution payments to her sister's bankrupt estate.
As of July 31, she had managed to pay $5,000 of the $35,000 she was ordered to repay in 2002.
Other cases include that of Mahalo Air, the startup interisland air carrier that launched service here in 1993 and shut its doors with a 1997 bankruptcy filing that is still active.
The financial failure of Gray Line Hawaii Ltd., the state's third-largest tour bus company, which shut its doors in 1997, is also generating paperwork in Bankruptcy Court.
In the Sia case, a lot has happened to the Indonesian-born businessman since he filed the bankruptcy action in 1998, listing among his debts tens of millions of dollars owed to gambling casinos in Las Vegas, London and Asia.
He was convicted in 2002 of bank and bankruptcy fraud related to the financial collapse and federal takeover of the Bank of Honolulu. He served three years in federal prison and was deported and forbidden ever to return to the United States.
Just a few months ago, he married Kelly Randall, who was his co-defendant in the fraud case, in a lavish wedding at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
A few friends from Honolulu attended the July nuptials, including state Senate vice president Donna Mercado Kim and Waikiki's "Ambassador of Aloha," entertainer Danny Kaleikini, according to news accounts of the event.
Attempts to reach Kim, Kaleikini and Linda Wong, another Honolulu friend of Sia's who attended the Monaco wedding, were unsuccessful.
Sia and Randall could not be reached. Sia's local bankruptcy attorney, Noah Fiddler, did not return telephone calls for comment.
Sia still owes more than $200 million to creditors around the world. Randall owes more than $1 million because of a series of transfers of assets Sia made to her, according to documents in the case.
Some creditors wonder where the money came from for the European wedding.
"I don't doubt there are still millions dollars out there which were never found," said Paul Alston, local attorney for an Asian bank owed more than $4 million.
The largest single creditor in the case is CommerzBank (Southeast Asia), which is owed some $41 million, according to case records.
According to accounts of the wedding published in two Singapore-based magazines, it was an exclusive and expensive affair.
Guido Giacometti, the court-appointed private trustee in charge of the Sia bankruptcy case, said he believes it will be closed in the next few months.
"We found all the pockets (of money) that we could," he said.
The Office of the U.S. Trustee, an arm of the Justice Department that oversees the administration of bankruptcy cases, stresses the need to close cases as quickly as possible, Giacometti said.
"We stay in close touch with the office," Giacometti said. "There are cases like this one which stretch out over years and I think the U.S. Trustee's office understands that."
He added: "This was a very complex case with international aspects and with connections to criminal proceedings. Next year it will be 10 years since the case was filed and I'm as anxious to close it as anyone else involved."
Katzman, who oversees bankruptcy administration in Southern California, Hawai'i, Guam and Saipan, was traveling and could not be reached for comment.
Hawai'i bankruptcies filed 1992-2000 that are still active:
1992: Hamakua Sugar Co. Inc.
1994: Papa Bay Inc.
1995: Lindsey, Marlene
Industrial Technology Inc.
Mahalo Air Inc.
Hawaiian International Service & Tours
Oahu Construction Co. Ltd.
Multimedia Pacific Inc.
Hawaiian Super Prix LLC & Frontier Insurance Group
Hawaiian Grocery Stores Ltd.
Midpac Lumber Co. Ltd.
Cg Investments Inc.
Giacometti v. Arton Bermuda Ltd. (related to 1998 Sia case)
Source: U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Reach Jim Dooley at email@example.com
~ ~ ~
December 21, 1999
Interim Bishop trustees say tax bill negotiable
By Sally Apgar, Advertiser Staff Writer
For the first time since their May appointments to oversee the beleaguered Bishop Estate, the interim trustees held a news conference covering a range of issues from the huge tax bill the Internal Revenue Service wants to extract from the for-profit side of the estate to the new school on the Big Island that one day could have 2,000 students.
Retired Adm. Robert Kihune, chairman of the interim board, said that the IRS, after reviewing the estate’s complex of for-profit subsidiaries, initially demanded $165 million.
But Kihune and fellow trustee Ronald Libkuman, an attorney, emphasized that the $165 million was only a starting point for negotiations with the IRS.
“We’re not gonna whittle it; we’re going to negotiate it down,” said Kihune, adding, “I hope we can get it down to the lowest level possible. Hopefully down to zero, but that’s wishful thinking.”
Libkuman added: “Don’t get hung up on the $165 million. It’s an initial number. … no settlement will be in that range. We’re much more optimistic.”
The tax bill for the for-profit arm of the estate is separate from the settlement between the interim trustees and the IRS that was approved earlier this month by Circuit Judge Kevin Chang.
That settlement, which also arises out of the tax agency’s extensive investigation into the financial dealings of the former trustees, allows the estate to retain its tax-exempt status in exchange for paying $9 million, plus interest, in back taxes. The $9 million is far less than the $65 million the IRS initially said was due. The settlement also required the permanent removal of all five former trustees.
The interim trustees were appointed May 7 by Chang after he accepted the temporary resignation of Oswald Stender and temporarily removed the other four trustees.
In addition to Kihune and Libkuman, the other interim trustees are Constance Lau, chief operating officer of American Savings Bank; David Coon, former headmaster of Iolani School; and Francis Keala, former Honolulu police chief.
The $6 billion charitable trust was established by the 1884 will of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, who directed that her wealth of royal lands be used to build and support the Kamehameha Schools for the education of children of Hawaiian ancestry.
When asked whether any of the interim trustees wanted to be appointed permanently, Coon made it clear he wanted to “move on.” The others were quiet.
Kihune then said that future trustees would be determined by a court-approved trustee selection process.
In December 1997, four of the five justices of the Hawaii Supreme Court announced that they would no longer appoint Bishop Estate trustees because they did not want the state judiciary to be compromised in public opinion. In part, the justices were responding to public criticism that the selection process was too political.
Probate Court Judge Chang has held hearings on the selection process and is expected to issue a written ruling soon.
Coon yesterday briefly discussed plans to open a permanent school on the Big Island in the fall of 2001. The trustees said they hope the school eventually will have as many as 2,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade on a 300-acre campus in Keaau.
Unlike the Oahu campus, the Big Island school will have a dual track for college preparatory work and vocational studies ranging from computer skills to aquaculture. A temporary school on that island now serves 152 students.
The interim trustees also have worked to reach more Hawaiian children. To that end, they have reinstituted three of the outreach programs eliminated by the former trustees. The interim trustees said a “close analysis” will be conducted before other programs are instituted.
Kihune said the trustees have been overseeing formation of a strategic plan that will set out goals for Kamehameha.
Under the former trustees, teachers rose up against the trustees’ process of creating a strategic plan without their input.
In contrast, the interim trustees have opened the process, sending a team to meet with alumni, parents, students and groups in the Hawaiian community throughout the Islands to get opinions on how the school should operate. Kihune said it will take at least a year before the plan is completed.
“We hope that all of the Hawaiian communities can say this strategic plan is their strategic plan,” he said.
Kihune also briefed reporters on operational changes made by interim trustees in an effort to create “checks and balances” to safeguard the trust against abuses.
Kihune said the trustees have revamped the governance structure and have been interviewing candidates for the newly created position of chief executive officer. The CEO, whose appointment may be announced in the next month, will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the trust, making the trustee jobs less hands-on than previously.
“We’ve looked at multiple candidates. They range from educators to nonprofit-type CEOs as well as financial people,” Kihune said. “We have not concluded what type of CEO we will be selecting, but we are close.”
~ ~ ~
September 10, 2002
State, feds seek
The telecom firm owes more than $1 million
By Tim Ruel
The fate of a million-dollar tax delinquency is coming to blows in the bankruptcy of telecommunications services firm Summit Communications Inc.
In the past several weeks, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Trustee's Office and the state Department of Taxation have raised the heat in Summit's bankruptcy proceedings. They support the appointment of an outside trustee to manage and investigate the firm's finances.
Summit owes $528,603 to the state and $512,315 to the federal government for taxes, according to claims in Summit's Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy case.
In an early August court filing, attorneys for the U.S. government cited Summit's "gross mismanagement and incompetence" as a justification for the appointment of a trustee.
Summit opposes the appointment of a trustee and disputes the government's assertions. It says the appointment of a trustee will raise the expense of administering its bankruptcy case, a point the U.S. government concedes. Having a trustee at the helm would reduce confidence in the firm, potentially warding off customers, and make it harder for Summit to emerge from bankruptcy successfully, according to a filing by Summit's attorneys Steven Guttman and James Duca.
Summit is seeking an extension of time to submit its in-house plan for reorganization, which was due two months ago. The government says Summit shouldn't get an extension. A hearing on the disputes is scheduled for Monday before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Faris.
During a brief hearing yesterday, Summit and its creditors said they would meet outside court to talk things over. One of the potential topics was whether the government's desire to appoint a trustee would merit the potential loss of tax dollars, according to Carol Muranaka, special assistant U.S. attorney.
"We are in a bad place, I think, the state and United States," Muranaka said during yesterday's hearing.
Among the U.S. government's assertions:
>> Summit's current management is related to the management that led the firm to its tax situation. Shortly before Summit filed bankruptcy, Grant Johnston, the son of a Summit co-founder and owner, became president;
>> Summit has made a couple major revisions to its financial statements. As such, the firm's numbers are not reliable.
In response, Summit said the relationship between its management teams is not relevant. If there's a question of whether the relationship has interfered with efforts to fix Summit, "no such claim can factually be proven," the company said.
The company blames its erroneous financial statements on disarray in its finances at the time of filing bankruptcy. Since then, the company says it has hired an outside accountant.
In a March interview, Grant Johnston said Summit ran into major cash-flow problems that were more important at the time than paying taxes. According to Johnston, the firm discovered the tax problem after it changed management in 2001. Johnston could not be reached for further comment yesterday.
Unpaid taxes make up about one-third of Summit's $3 million total claims.
In a court filing, Summit noted it is current on its post-bankruptcy financial obligations, and it has made $38,223 in adequate protection payments to the federal government.
The state Tax Department, which has supported the federal government's case for appointing a trustee, has its own bone to pick with Summit. In a recent filing, the state claims Summit has been "tightfisted" with information, hindering a state audit. Before filing bankruptcy in February, Summit hadn't filed general excise tax returns since 1997. Also, Summit has refused to file public service company returns, the state said....
~ ~ ~
Carol Muranaka is expected to testify regarding her financial, professional, political and personal relationships with Hawaii State Bar Association, Jeffrey Sia, Hugh Jones, Chevron-Texaco, Tesoro, Jack Abramoff, Steven Griles, Governor Ben Cayetano, Governor Linda Lingle, Greg Dunn, Bradley Tamm, Louise Ing, Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, Lokelani Lindsey, Nathan Aipa, Colleen Wong, Louanne Kam, William S. Richardson, Dianne Plotts, Sukamto Sia, Bank of Honolulu, Guido Giacometti, Susan Tius, Kenneth Hipp, Matt Tsukazaki, Robert Katz, Howard K.K. Luke, Lyn Anzai, Earl Anzai, Hawaiian Airlines, Joshua Gotbaum, American International Group (AIG), Mary Lou Woo, Alan Ma, Steven Guttman, James Duca, Summit Communications, Marsh & McLennan, Mercer Consulting, Marsh Affinity Group Services, Hawaiian Electric Co., Edwina Clarke, Donald P. Hodel, Puna Geothermal, John Waihee, Bert Kobayashi, JMB Realty, Dwight Yoshimura, Eric Yeaman, Joseph Ferreira, Jr, Grant Sumida, Bruce Bennett, Gary Grottke, Judge Lloyd King, Judge Robert Faris, Judge Kevin Chang, Judge David Ezra, Mark Polivka, Bishop Museum, Haunani Apoliona, Faye Kurren, Judge Barry Kurren, Nature Conservancy, Gale Norton, Steven Griles, Colbert Matsumoto, Valerie U. Katz, Island Insurance Co., Lisa Ginoza, Sherry Broder, Jon Van Dyke, William McCorriston, Prudential, Judith Neustader Fuqua, Peter Hanashiro, John Edmunds, Alberto Gonzales, James Wriston, David C. Farmer, Judge Thomas Kaulukukui, Jr. and others to be named upon discovery.
~ ~ ~
Documents, Letters, News Articles and Related Links
TO GO TO THE FARMER VS. HARMON WITNESS INDEX