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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Hawaii

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 13, 2015

Honolulu Businessman Convicted Of Tax Charges

 

HONOLULU – A federal jury today found Albert S.N. Hee, 61, of Kailua, Hawaii, guilty of corruptly interfering with the Internal Revenue Service in the calculation and collection of his taxes, and with filing six false individual tax returns which failed to report his income for the years 2007 through 2012. The verdict concluded deliberations which had begun on Friday, July 10, after an 11-day trial.

Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that, according to evidence presented in court, Hee owned Waimana Enterprises, Inc., a holding company which owned various subsidiaries including Sandwich Isles Communications and ClearCom, Inc. Between 2002 and 2012, Hee directed Waimana to pay approximately $2.3 million in personal and family expenses on his behalf, and falsely deducted the payments as if they were legitimate business expenses. According to the trial testimony, Hee also failed to report the value of the benefits which he received as income on his own income tax returns. The personal expenses paid for by Waimana included the following items:

  • Personal massage payments totaling $96,000 for two-hour massages given to Hee twice a week;
  • $119,909 in credit card charges made for personal expenses, including trips to DisneyWorld, Tahiti, France and Switzerland made by Hee’s wife, children, and others, and a four-day family vacation at the Mauna Lani resort, which Hee falsely characterized as a "stockholder’s meeting";
  • College tuition and housing expenses totaling over $736,900 for Hee’s three children, who attended college on the mainland; and
  • Approximately $1,676,685 in wages and fringe benefits paid to Hee’s wife and three children, who did little or no work for Waimana.

According to testimony presented during the trial, Hee also had Waimana buy a home in Santa Clara, California for $1.3 million, which he used as college housing for his two children. The children were also allowed to rent rooms out to others, and to keep the money to fund their own expenses.

Hee will face a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000, as to each of the seven counts when he is sentenced on October 26, 2015.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Les Osborne and Larry Tong, and Trial Attorney Quinn Harrington of the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.

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Updated July 14, 2015