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Press Release

Former union official sentenced to 30 months for identity theft and failure to file tax returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii – Nathan Y.G. Lum, 62, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was sentenced today in federal court by United States District Judge Derrick K. Watson to 30 months of imprisonment and one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $314,178.27. On March 28, 2019, Lum pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft in connection with theft of government funds and failure to file a tax return.

US Attorney for the District of Hawaii Kenji M. Price announced that, according to court documents and information presented in court, Lum was the former division director of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, Longshore Division (ILWU). From 2011 through 2017, Lum willfully failed to file any federal or State of Hawaii tax returns that should have reported his income from the ILWU and other sources. In failing to do so, he failed to pay the IRS and State of Hawaii approximately $280,743.27 that he owed in taxes. In most years, Lum earned over $200,000.00 in gross pay from the ILWU. In addition, Lum failed to report approximately $90,000.00 in payments that he received personally from California-based Relativity Media company in 2012 and 2013 in connection with efforts to secure Hawaii tax credits from the State Legislature while he was an official of the ILWU.

Further, after Lum’s father passed away, between 2013 and 2016, Lum forged his father’s signature on over fifty checks that Lum wrote from his deceased father’s bank account and deposited into Lum’s personal account. In total, Lum obtained approximately $33,435.00 in his father’s Social Security benefits that Lum was not entitled to receive. Lum spent these funds on his personal expenses.

“The sentenced imposed today holds Lum accountable for his flagrant violation of federal law. It sends a message to all in Hawaii that no one in Hawaii, regardless of position or privilege, is above the law. Those who hold positions of trust, such as leaders of Hawaii’s public and private sector unions, are fully accountable for their conduct, and when they intentionally violate federal law, my Office will work with law enforcement to ensure that there are consequences.”

“Nathan Lum earned a significant income based partly on his criminal conduct and position of influence. He knew he had an obligation to file his income tax return, but chose not to,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell. “IRS-Criminal Investigation continues to pursue greedy individuals who fail to file and pay their fair share of tax.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Department of Labor, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca A. Perlmutter.


Ashley Mah Edwards

Updated January 29, 2020

Identity Theft