- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

HONOLULU (AP) - The president of a Hawaii telecommunications company has been indicted on charges of diverting $4 million of the corporation’s money for personal expenses over the course of a decade.

A federal grand jury in Honolulu on Wednesday indicted Albert S.N. Hee, president of Waimana Enterprises Inc., which is the parent company of Sandwich Isles Communications Inc., the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/1w2DnqT ).

Hee had been indicted in September on one count of filing a false 2007 tax return. The new indictment charges him with seven counts of corrupt interference with the administration of Internal Revenue Service laws and six counts of submitting a false tax return for the years 2007 to 2012.

Hee’s lawyer, Steven Toscher, denied the charges.

“Mr. Hee is innocent, and we look forward to defending the charges in court,” Toscher said.

Hee is also president of Sandwich Isles Wireless, another subsidiary of Waimana, which provides services to customers living on Hawaiian home lands.

Federal regulators last year substantially cut a subsidy to Sandwich Isles, concluding the company had expenses that appeared grossly excessive and unreasonable.

U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni said the $4 million siphoned from Waimana Enterprises Inc. paid for $752,082 in tuition, books and rent for Hee’s three college-age children, a $1.3 million house in Santa Clara, California, used by two of Hee’s children, and $590,000 in false wages paid to Hee’s wife, who did no work.

Another $722,550 in false wages were paid to Hee’s children along with $443,103 in false employment benefits for his family members, according to Nakakuni.

According to the indictment, Hee did not claim the $4,063,294.39 in personal expenses paid by Waimana Enterprises as income on his personal tax returns filed for 2002 to 2012. That would have meant an additional tax obligation of $425,988, according to prosecutors.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com


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