David C. Farmer, Successor-Trustee vs. Harmon
(Formerly Woo vs. Harmon & Nicholson vs. Harmon)
CV05-00030 DAE KSC
U.S. District Court For the District of Hawaii
Judges: David A. Ezra; Kevin S. Chang
HOWARD K.K. LUKE
Howard K.K. Luke
707 Richards St., Ste. 610
Honolulu, HI 96813
Hawaii attorney for Kamehameha Schools’ Nathan Aipa and Wayne Chang in EQ2048; attorney for Michael Matsumoto, CEO of SSFM International engineering firm which was involved in money-laundering and campaign finance scandals; Board Member of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
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July 21, 2006
ABA mock trial will revisit
infamous Massie case
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - by PBN Staff
The American Bar Association is dusting off a 75-year-old criminal case from Hawaii to review during its convention in Honolulu next month.
As part of the legal profession's requirement for continuing education, the association's General Practice, Solo & Small Firm division will conduct a mock historical criminal trial at the Hawaii Convention Center on Aug. 3.
The group will revisit the 1931 case of Thalia Massie, a Navy wife who had accused five Honolulu men of assaulting her after she left a club near the Ala Wai Canal, said Marvin Dang, a Honolulu lawyer who is helping to organize the event.
The lurid criminal trial that followed rocked the city and transformed the nature of race relations in Hawaii.
This time around, lawyers will avail themselves of high-tech evidence unavailable in the 1930s. Presiding will be Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, a former Circuit Court judge, and lawyers will hear local defense lawyer Howard Luke and prosecutor David Farmer review the trial evidence with modern-day forensic scientists.
Then, lawyers will join their colleagues in the audience for a jury deliberation.
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July 16, 2003
Harris donor gets fined
for illegal gifts
But the engineering firm's CEO could get
his case expunged after five years
By Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
A state judge ordered the chief executive of one of the state's largest engineering firms to perform 300 hours of community service and to pay $15,000 to the state Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
But Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto also gave SSFM International Chief Executive Officer Michael Matsumoto an opportunity to have his criminal case expunged after five years if he abides by certain conditions similar to probation.
Sakamoto rejected a prosecutor's request yesterday for a harsher sentence that included probation and a $54,000 fine, citing Matsumoto's extensive community service work.
"Mr. Matsumoto engaged in a common pattern and practice that has existed for several years and has been through several generations of campaigns," Sakamoto said.
"It still does not make it right. It was an unlawful practice. That practice gave an unfair advantage to the campaigns involved and disadvantaged the others. It really, really, diminished the integrity of the voting process."
In January, Matsumoto entered a no-contest plea to a money-laundering charge that he funneled $139,500 to Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' political campaign, making him the first person to be successfully prosecuted by city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle in his 18-month investigation into the Harris campaign.
Matsumoto also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that he made political contributions under false names.
Matsumoto, who appeared in court with dozens of family members and friends, apologized for his actions, but declined to answer questions about his case.
His attorney, Howard Luke, said his client is guilty of making false-name campaign donations and should expect "an astronomical" civil fine by the state Campaign Spending Commission for those violations.
But Luke said Matsumoto did not violate the state's money-laundering laws and was forced by prosecutors to accept the no-contest plea for that crime against his advice.
"Why is SSFM the first company up to bat? The answer is very simple: He didn't hide anything. This is the easiest paper trail that the prosecutor had," Luke said. "Nothing was hidden. It was all done by check. It was done all above board."
Matsumoto's firm, SSFM, is a major contractor for the city and served as its consultant for the $45 million Central Oahu Regional Park project, which has incurred millions of dollars in cost overruns.
City records reviewed by the Star-Bulletin showed that SSFM's nonbid consulting contract for the sports complex soared to $3.2 million from $932,000 as a result of four amendments.
According to records compiled by the state Campaign Spending Commission, SSFM is linked to donors who contributed $400,000 to more than half a dozen local political candidates during the past decade.
Nearly half of that went to the Harris campaign, while former Gov. Ben Cayetano's 1998 re-election bid received more than $100,000.
Under state law, a donor can give no more than $4,000 to a mayoral candidate and $6,000 to a gubernatorial candidate during a four-year election cycle.
Deputy Prosecutor Randal Lee said he was disappointed by the sentence because it allows a person who admitted laundering more than $100,000 to walk out of court with no criminal conviction on his record. Lee said that Matsumoto did not cooperate with his office's investigation as required under a plea agreement.
Matsumoto also placed dozens of relatives, friends and employees under the threat of criminal prosecution when he laundered campaign funds in their names, according to Lee.
The company also deducted some of the contributions as business expenses, as if campaign contributions are part of the ordinary cost of doing business in Hawaii, Lee said.
At least one SSFM employee had to borrow money from the company's 401K retirement plan to make political donations to Harris, Lee said.
"There is a driving force to make these contributions and there is a driving force that these amounts have to be substantial and there is a driving force that the amounts have to be given at a certain time," Lee said.
"Elections should not -- cannot -- be based on which candidate has the most money," he said. "Elections should not be based on which candidates could buy the most votes. I think the message is clear that the public distrusts the system and the public lacks faith in the system and the public realizes that the system is not fair."
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by Ian Lind, www.iLind.net
May 18, 2006 - Thursday
Here's a comment from another former S-B reporter regarding the newspaper's new ban on slippers in the newsroom:
I am so glad to know that Frank (Bridgewater, Star-Bulletin editor) is cracking down on sandals and other casual foot wear in the office. Should help circulation immeasurably.
Although those S-B circulation numbers still aren't subject to the industry standard Audit Bureau reviews, so it's hard to know what's really happening with them.
If you were watching those dismal Red State-Blue State comparisons after the last election, you might want to check out this encouraging update.
Remember Mike Matsumoto, SSFM International CEO who was the first person convicted in the long probe of illegal campaign contributions? Matsumoto pleaded no-contest to one count each of money laundering and making a campaign contribution using a false name, and was sentenced in July 2003 to 5-years probation, 300 hours of community service, and a fine.
A regular reader of this site who has the highest regard for Matsumoto noted that he was recently released from probation two years early and had all charges dropped and his record wiped clean by Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto.
According to the minutes of the hearing held on April 27, Matsumoto's attorney, Howard Luke, offered a letter from Hina Mauka and potential testimony by Associate Professor of Law Danielle Conway-Jones, while prosecutor Chris Van Mater declined the opportunity to cross examine the witness and offered no opposing witnesses.
According to a partial transcript of the proceeding, Judge Sakamoto commented:
Mr. Matsumoto still remains one of the most outstanding defendants that has come to this courtroom. His contributions to our community and the state are outstanding. And even after these offenses, he has continued his work in the community as this court believed that he would. To believe that Mr. Matsumoto would commit another crime. I have absolutely no belief of that at all based on his track record that he's maintained a consistent giver to our community.
The reader who called this to my attention commented:
I have known Mike for a number of years, and I know, personally, the good man that he is. I know, also, how hurt he was by this terrible experience.
Well, sometimes, good guys do win.
Congratulations to Mike. He didn't need this ruling for people to know that he a good guy. There were no reporters when today's ruling was handed down, and that is a real disappointment. But, I promised him that I would get the word out to the reporters I respect.
So, here it is.
(See also www.kycbs.net/BG/Bridgewater-Kapu.htm )
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Howard K.K. Luke is expected to testify regarding his business, professional, political and personal relationships with Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, Nathan Aipa, William S. Richardson, Lokelani Lindsey, Paul Cathcart, Henry Peters, Richard Wong, Jeffrey Stone, Wayne Chang, Judge Eden Elizabeth Hifo (fka Bambi Weil), James “Duke” Aiona, West Maui Rep. Brian Blundell, Renee P. Danley, James “Kimo” Apana, Maui County Council, Judith Neustadter Fuqua, Ben Cayetano, J.P. Schmidt, Linda Lingle, Mark Bennett, Marcia Diver, Laurian Childers, Margery Bronster, Earl Anzai, Lyn Anzai, Lawrence Goya, Hugh Jones, Dorothy Sellers, Judge Kevin Chang, Chief Justice Ronald Moon, Judge Patrick Yim, Judge Simeon Acoba, Jr., Bruce Graham, Oswald Stender, Douglas Ing, Jeremy Harris, Michael Matsumoto, SSFM International Inc., William McCorriston, Sanford Murata, Matt Tsukazaki, Robert Katz, Kenneth Hipp, Jeffrey Sia, P&C Insurance Co., Marsh & McLennan, Federal Insurance Co. (Chubb Group), XL Insurance Co., Rey Graulty, Eric Seitz, John S. Edmunds, James Nicholson, Mary Lou Woo, Carol Muranaka, Steven Guttman, David Farmer, Jean Rolles, Rosemary Fazio, and others to be named upon discovery.
RICO Lawsuit - 99-CV-00304-DAE-BMK
XL Reinsurance Policy No. XLRKS-01796
Equity 2048 - Related Correspondence and Documents
IRS Closing Agreement for Kamehameha Schools
Broken Trust - The Book
TO GO TO THE WOO VS. HARMON WITNESS INDEX