by Andrew Walden
Remember Al Hee?
With so many corrupt Hawaii political insiders heading for federal prisons, one could be forgiven for forgetting the first of the current wave.
Al Hee, owner of Sandwich Isles Communications and brother of then-Senator and former OHA Trustees Chair Clayton Hee, was indicted for one count of tax evasion September 17, 2014.
A superseding indictment charged Al Hee with seven counts of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws and six counts of submitting a false tax return for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Dated December 17, 2014, it came on the exact second anniversary of Senator Daniel Inouye’s death.
Hawai’i Free Press has been reporting on Hee’s illegality since 2005.
On July 13, 2015, Hee was convicted of criminal tax fraud. He was sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison.
Al Hee reported to FMC Rochester June 15, 2016, to begin his prison sentence as Inmate# 04601-122. Hee would be released September 19, 2019. His parole terminated September 30, 2020.
On December 5, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission “eliminated Sandwich Isles’ ability to receive additional support from the Fund, took action to recover $27 million in improper payments Sandwich Isles had received, and proposed a $49,598,448 fine against Sandwich Isles, Waimana Enterprises, and Hee….”
In a September 30, 2020, news release, the FCC explains: “Hee used his control of Sandwich Isles, Waimana, and other affiliated companies to tap corporate funds to pay for more than $4 million in personal expenses benefitting himself and his family, including personal massages, personal travel and meals, tuition payments for Hee’s children, a vehicle and home for Hee’s children, and salaries and benefits paid to Hee’s wife and children while they did not actually perform any work for Waimana.”
In addition, Federal attorneys say “…On August 4, 2014, Sandwich Isles transferred $1,350,000.00 to Waimana as a ‘bonus to owner.’”
But after the indictments, Hee’s illicit money transfers to ‘Clear Com’ --another of Hee’s front companies--kicked into high gear.
Here are some excerpts from the Proposed Findings of Fact submitted by US Attorneys February 3, 2023 in Civ 18-145 JMS RT US vs Sandwich Isles Communications:
29. On December 31, 2014, Sandwich Isles transferred $3,000,000.00 to ClearCom as “Rent Prepayment.” On March 18, 2015, Sandwich Isles transferred $4,000,000.00 to ClearCom as “Prepaid Rent for Network Infrastructure.” On June 17, 2015, Sandwich Isles transferred $2,000,000.00 to ClearCom as “Prepaid Rent for Network Infrastructure.” Thus, collectively, Sandwich Isles transferred $9,000,000.00 to ClearCom between December 31, 2014 and June 17, 2015. Mr. Hee asserts that these payments were owed under an unsigned equipment lease (for equipment that was never purchased) and an unsigned building lease (for a building that was never built), under a plan created by Mr. Hee. Under Mr. Hee’s plan, the amount of rent to be paid to ClearCom would be determined later, based on ClearCom’s expenses in constructing the facilities on land already owned by Sandwich Isles….
30. On September 24, 2015, ClearCom returned $6,000,000.00 to Sandwich Isles as “Return of funds to [Sandwich Isles] originally remitted as Advanced Prepaid Rent to the Equipment Lease.” .…
39. Between April 13, 2015 and May 11, 2015, Sandwich Isles transferred $15,806.27 to Ward Research for jury consultant services….
63. Accordingly, the United States has demonstrated that the Sandwich Isles violated its fiduciary duties to the United States by engaging in the Fraudulent Transfers when it was insolvent, and thus Mr. Hee is liable to the United States under Count VI, as an officer and director of Sandwich Isles at the time of the Fraudulent Transfers, in the amount of $4,493,606.27….
Sadly, none of this leads to additional prison time for Hee.
Just as a reminder of how Hawaii is, Clayton Hee was appointed to the Hawaii Paroling Authority Board in 2019.
PDF: Proposed Findings of Fact
2021: Trustee: Criminal Al Hee Rakes in $15M While on Parole
2020: FCC Fines Al Hee $49M for Fraud
2019: Ige Appoints Clayton Hee to Hawaii Paroling Authority
2018: Al Hee Sues Water Board Because Rail Project Not Rerouted to Protect His Tax Scam
2017: Al Hee Minion Robin Danner Grabs for Control of Crooked Sandwich Isles Scam Company
2015: 200 pages of Hawaii Political insiders support letters for Al Hee
2014: Anti-Hee Campaign Mailer
2014: Corruption: Al Hee Indicted on 13 Counts--Could Get 39 Years in Federal Prison
2013: Feds Bust Sandwich Isles Com: $25M/year Funneled to Hee Company
2012: Hee: Sandwich Isles Communications "Will Quickly Face Bankruptcy"
2012: FCC Closes in on Sandwich Isles Scam as Abercrombie Prepares to Give Al Hee $100M
2011: Abercrombie appoints former Sandwich Isles Communications Exec to assist Chief Information Officer
2010: Campaign contributions: Inouye pushing for more Sandwich Isles Communications funding?
2009: Congressional report nails Sandwich Isles Communications: One of worst ten abusers
2005: Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off
2002: Forbes: Dreaming and scheming Hawaiian style