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May 11, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 7:14 AM :: 1018 Views

UHERO: 'Population slowing will reduce future growth'

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Witnesses describe Miske Money Laundering transactions

ILind: … Several witnesses testifying this week in the racketeering trial of former Honolulu business owner Michael J. Miske Jr. focused on bank transactions that appeared to be “structured” to avoid the banks’ mandatory reporting of cash transactions over a $10,000 threshold….

Shortly before Miske and ten initial co-defendants were indicted in July 2020, affidavits filed in support of applications for search warrants indicated Miske was being investigated for the crime of illegal structuring, in violation of 31 U.S.C. § 5324.

Ultimately, he was not charged with structuring, but it is one of a long laundry list of crimes that can be evidence of a racketeering conspiracy, the first and overarching charge against Miske.

None of this background information was provided to the jury when prosecutors began calling a series of witnesses focused on “structuring.”

Several current and former employees of First Hawaiian Bank testified on Tuesday about situations in which Miske, or representatives of his companies, attempted to cash what the said were multiple paychecks for employees of the fishing vessel “Rachel.” These were foreign citizens who were not allowed to leave the boat when it was in port in Honolulu.

In each of the situations described, the bank tellers said they told Miske or his representatives that their checks totaled more than $10,000 and would require the bank to submit a CTR, or Currency Transaction Report. In each case, the person seeking to cash the checks then removed one or more checks so that the immediate transaction would be below the reporting threshold….

The owner claims he cashes their checks and repays them. Checks were payable to (Ratu Dokanivalu $4349.76, Raymon Samola $3879.81, and Shar Tua $1174.88) She mentioned she had more checks but they were not small enough to keep under the 10K threshold for reporting. She took the cash all in large bills….

A chart Strickland prepared was introduced into evidence as Exhibit 1-1024

CB: The Miske Trial: Witnesses Describe Bank Transactions

ILind: Govt. indicated there is a good chance it may rest by the first week in June.”

read … Witnesses describe “structuring” of Miske-related bank transactions | i L i n d

Corruption Defendant Dennis Mitsunaga Will Remain In Jail Despite ‘Superficial’ Health Issues

CB: … An injury Dennis Mitsunaga sustained in jail this week and his ongoing health challenges don’t justify his release, Judge Timothy Burgess ruled from the bench Friday….

(CLUE: It is sooo good to have an out-of-state judge on the job.)

Mitsunaga fell in his jail cell and cut his head early Monday. According to his cellmate, Nathan Lee, who testified during a court hearing Friday, Mitsunaga fainted, hit his head and temporarily lost consciousness. A physician’s assistant who works at the Honolulu Federal Detention Center testified Mitsunaga suffered a “superficial head laceration” that did not require stitches….

 read … Corruption Defendant Dennis Mitsunaga Will Remain In Jail Despite Health Issues

FEMA approves final extension for temporary housing for wildfire survivors

MN: … FEMA has approved a final 30-day extension of temporary emergency Non-Congregate Shelter for fire survivors.

The program which has been running for nearly 10 months is now set to end on June 10.

The Red Cross will be assisting the transition out of the program.

Meanwhile, the state will be holding two housing resource fairs on May 18 at the Hyatt Mau Regency Resort and on June 1 at the Royal Lahaina resort from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m….

read … FEMA approves final extension for temporary housing for wildfire survivors

Landlords now required to file affidavit for lease termination exception

MN: … Following Gov. Josh Green’s signing of the 11th emergency proclamation relating to wildfires, signed into law on May 3, 2024, a landlord who wishes to terminate a lease before its effective date can only do so for two reasons, and must submit a signed affidavit to the County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Housing Division.

A landlord moving into the unit, or moving an immediate family member into the unit, may request an exception. A landlord selling the unit to a bona fide purchaser with a sales contract in place may also request an exception to terminate the lease. Both reasons require the landlord to complete and sign a sworn affidavit stating the reason for the early termination. An original copy of the affidavit must be submitted to the Housing Division at the same time the tenant is notified of the action.

In the event a residential lease expires, landlords are not required to renew the lease under the emergency proclamation….

read … Landlords now required to file affidavit for lease termination exception : Maui Now

Honolulu agrees to 4-month window to grant or deny gun carrying licenses after lawsuit over delays

AP: …Honolulu has agreed to grant or deny applications to carry guns in public within four months of submission in response to a lawsuit by residents who complained of delays of up to a year, according to a stipulation signed by a federal judge Friday.

The March lawsuit alleged that the long delays were the city’s way of keeping the permitting process as restrictive as it was before a 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in a case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, that upended gun laws nationwide. That included Hawaii, which has long had some of the nation’s strictest gun laws.

Before the Bruen decision, which held that people have a right to carry for self-defense, Hawaii’s county police chiefs rarely issued licenses for either open or concealed carry.

When chiefs “began to issue a trickle of concealed carry permits” after Bruen, the lawsuit said, Honolulu “merely switched gears from almost never issuing any concealed carry permits so that there was no one with a permit, to issuing permits so slowly that it has essentially kept the permitting system the same as it was prior to Bruen — completely discretionary.” ...

read … Honolulu agrees to 4-month window to grant or deny gun carrying licenses after lawsuit over delays | AP News

Court to Rule Monday on Stairway to Heaven

CB: … In a lawsuit filed in April, the group said the city as well as two state agencies failed to comply with historic preservation regulations. Environmental regulations were the focus of an initial lawsuit that the group filed last August, but that was rejected by a judge in January.

“This case presents completely different legal issues,” the group’s lawyer Tim Vandeveer said at a court hearing Friday morning….

KITV: Fight to keep Oahu's 'Stairway to Heaven' intact heads to court | News | kitv.com

read … Group Argues To Save Haiku Stairs For Historic Preservation Reasons

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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