Indonesian businessman Sukamto Sia, who owes
$296 million in debts, would be exposed to creditors
again if his bankruptcy protection is withdrawn.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2000
By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
The Executive Centre on Bishop Street is flanked by the
Pauahi Tower, left, and the First Hawaiian Tower. The Executive
Centre would change hands in a plan being considered
in the Sukamto Sia bankruptcy.
March 21, 2002
Jones asks judge to be lenient with Sia
By Jim Dooley
University of Hawai'i football coach June Jones has asked a federal judge for leniency on behalf of financier Sukamto Sia, suggesting that Sia could give "instructional lectures" at UH as part of his rehabilitation instead of serving prison time for bank fraud.
When he heard about Sia's legal troubles, "it made me feel sick to my stomach," Jones wrote.
Sia will appear before Ezra today for sentencing on bankruptcy and wire fraud convictions. He faces up to 40 months in federal prison and fines of $1.5 million. Earlier this month, his bail was revoked after his involvement in a domestic disturbance in Los Angeles on Feb. 13.
On Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Lloyd King found Sia in contempt of court for repeatedly failing to produce financial records to his creditors.
King threatened to notify Ezra of the contempt ruling, then said he may order Sia jailed after he finishes serving whatever sentence Ezra hands down today in the criminal case.
Jones declined to discuss the letter he wrote on Sia's behalf, saying it was "a private letter to the judge."
Asked if the bail revocation or contempt ruling have changed his attitude toward Sia, Jones said, "No, nothing's changed." Jones said he didn't wish to elaborate. "The letter speaks for itself," he said.
Written on UH stationery, Jones' letter referred to Sia as "SS," and said Sia "could be a great asset to the University of Hawai'i by giving instructional lectures to our students. I make this suggestion as part of a rehabilitation sentence, in lieu of custody time."
Jones also noted that Sia has been involved helping young business people.
"In the past, he has held seminars and roundtable business discussions, devoting many hours of his time in open forum to help them and guide them toward achieving success in life," he said.
Numerous other friends and associates of Sia also wrote letters of support to Ezra.
Sia, 41, is a developer, financier and former owner of the Bank of Honolulu, which was seized by federal regulators in October 2000. As part of a plea agreement in the criminal case, Sia admitted defrauding the bank by obtaining illegal loans that went to companies he controlled.
He also admitted improperly cashing two state of Hawai'i tax refund checks worth $757,000 and using some of the proceeds to gamble in Las Vegas and to buy his girlfriend, Kelly Randall, a pair of diamond earrings worth $325,000.
More than a dozen other criminal counts against Sia were dropped in return for his guilty plea.
Sia's lawyers have argued to Ezra that Sia's financial problems were caused in part by a severe gambling addiction that led to losses of tens of millions of dollars at casinos around the world.
He was arrested by Las Vegas authorities in 1998 on charges he wrote bad checks to cover some $8 million in gambling debts. Those charges were later dropped after he agreed to repay the money.
The domestic disturbance incident last month occurred at a mansion in Bel Air, Calif., that Sia shares with Randall. Randall at one time was also charged in the federal court case, but prosecutors agreed to drop those charges in return for Sia's guilty plea.
Police said Randall initially told them Sia slapped her three or four times but she later said the accusation was a lie.
Ezra, in revoking Sia's bail, said it wasn't because of the domestic battery allegations but because Sia lied to police officers when he told them that he'd never been arrested before and that an electronic monitoring device attached to his wrist was a watch.
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Position: Chief of staff to Gov. Linda Lingle
Education: St. Louis School, 1964 graduate
Previous jobs: Chief of staff to former Honolulu Mayor Eileen Anderson; government affairs director, Waste Management Inc.; senior principal for the accounting and consulting firm of Pannell Kerr Forster; regional vice president, Village Resorts Inc.; assistant vice president, Bank of Honolulu; marketing director, Sea Life Park; insurance salesman, First Insurance Co....
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