Sen Chang (center), Sen Espero (left) and others at Mafia Hitman’s Fundraiser, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, June 24, 2017.
by Andrew Walden
Hawaii Senators’ favorite mafia hitman just lost his Black Point house to foreclosure.
A lavish fundraiser launching the “Hawaii Forgotten Families Foundation”--allegedly a homeless charity--drew State Senators Stanley Chang, Will Espero, and Glen Wakai. Hosted by ex-con Blake Tek Yoon, the Senators joined HFFF Board members Nick Denzer of Alakea Construction, Jim Matichuk of Hawaii Architects Inc, Francine Beppu of KHON, and 100 wannabees for a June 24, 2017 fundraising kickoff event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
According to Civil Beat July 10, 2017:
Some people were skeptical of a man with a criminal past who says he wants to sell his multimillion-dollar Kahala home and give $200,000 to a foundation to help working homeless families….
The foundation registered with the state just days before the June 24 event and Yoon said it has begun the lengthy process of receiving federal nonprofit status. Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones recently sent the group a letter noting that it needs to register with the AG’s office if it wants to solicit donations.
Yoon spent tens of thousands of dollars to throw the event and said that the group didn’t ask for any money. The foundation removed a “donate” button (which went to a broken link) from its website after receiving Jones’ letter.
In spite of the event turnout, and fluff-pieces in Honolulu Magazine and HI Luxury, in Honolulu Federal Bankruptcy Court proceedings, Yoon lost his house to creditors February 5, 2019.
Krishna F. Jayaram, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, tells Hawai’i Free Press:
“The Hawaii’s Forgotten Families Foundation has never registered as a charitable organization with our Department. It appears the organization was formed in June, 2017. Around October, 2017, the organization requested and was granted an exemption from having to register with our Department for a period of three years on the grounds that they were a small organization receiving less than $25k in contributions.”
In response to questions from Hawai’i Free Press, Yoon says:
I never solicited any money from anyone, ever.
100% of all the filing expenses, plans and renderings, all printing, the June 24th 2017 event at the Royal Hawaiian and paid labor/staff expense related to HFF was paid for by me one hundred percent (100%). I can speak for Jim Matichuk and myself - however I cannot speak for Nick Denzer - you can contact him directly.
I have never heard of you, or from you before. How were you even referred to me?
Neither Denzer nor Matichuk nor Senator Stanley Chang responded to a request for comment.
The LA Times June 20, 1992 explains:
Yoon told the jury that on Oct. 11, 1991, he and two partners lured (victim William) Constable to a secluded Irvine parking lot, beat him with baseball bats and then shot him in the back of the head. Miraculously, Constable survived the attack.
Federal Public Defender H. Dean Steward … describes Yoon as a "big-time liar . . . a monster." He said that Yoon, who pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the case, lied to the jury in exchange for a lighter sentence. Yoon also made his lies more outrageous because he is attempting to make a movie on his life and trying to get "the interest of Hollywood," Steward said.
Yoon may not have done well with the charity scheme, but federal bankruptcy court records show he did raise some money from mortgages lent to Yoon by Hollywood hangers-on. Yoon took out two mortgages for a total of $739,660 written on the same day, exactly 13 days after the HFFF fundraiser, and not recorded in Hawaii for over a year. Both lenders lost everything when Yoon went BK.
Honolulu DPP shows Yoon racked up four building code violations stretching over eight years including: “2009--Tenant says that the roof leaks in 3 rooms” and “2011--Converted house into a duplex for rental purpose - no permit obtained.”
Yoon’s house sold for $1.9M—$121K less than land value--on February 5, 2019 pursuant to a Federal Bankruptcy Court order in case #18-00192.
According to court records:
1st Mortgage, Wells Fargo got $1.536M
2nd Mortgage, Ami Shafir of Beverly Hills, Ca, got $240K of $322K owed on a loan for $236,328 at 10% interest dated Nov 29, 2016, just seven months after one of Yoon’s California bankruptcy filings. Shafir had previously fallen victim to con artists connected to now-jailed Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano.
3rd Mortgage #1, disbarred California lawyer Mark Estes, got nothing of $200K lent at 3% also on July 7, 2017 but not recorded in Hawaii until July 20, 2018.
3rd Mortgage #2, Herbert Hudson, the debt-burdened founder of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles Inglewood, CA, got nothing of $539,660 originally lent at 5% July 7, 2017 but not recorded in Hawaii until August 15, 2018.
In each mortgage, Yoon agreed to “use the property as (Yoon’s) primary residence within 60 days after execution….”
Yoon filed for bankruptcy in Hawaii February 23, 2018—only seven months after taking out the last two mortgages.
The FBI explains, “mortgage fraud … is crime characterized by some type of material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission in relation to a mortgage loan which is then relied upon by a lender.”
This was Yoon’s fifth bankruptcy filing since 2011. According to documents filed May 10, 2016 with the Hawaii Land Court system, Yoon filed for bankruptcy in the Central California District April 21, 2016 claiming a $176K “Business Debt” owed to Shafir and a $500K “business debt” owed to LA resident Meilani Hewett. He previously filed bankruptcy in the Central California District April 4, 2011, December 6, 2011, and September 20, 2012.
Speaking of Forgotten Families, in 2014 the California Court of Appeals ruled against Yoon in a case where he sued his siblings for control of his parents’ estate including land in Honolulu and Long Beach, CA. The court ordered Yoon to pay the legal fees of his siblings.