Genshiro Kawamoto raises money mystery

Genshiro Kawamoto
Genshiro Kawamoto
Richard Turbin
Richard Turbin
Deborah Ramirez
Deborah Ramirez

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAHALA (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's a new twist in a Kahala landlord battle.

Japanese real estate tycoon Genshiro Kawamoto says his luxury Kahala homes are not for sale after all.

Kawamoto owns 26 properties in the Kahala area. He tells Hawaii News Now his recent listing of 14 of those homes for sale was just a test to see what kind of offers came in.

He says he's taken those properties off the market.

This is just the latest in a series of bizarre moves from the reported billionaire.

Yet another strange development involves a former Honolulu City Council candidate, Richard Turbin.

The two have a history of butting heads, mainly over Kawamoto's dilapidated mansions in Kahala.

The two are at it again, this time, over money.

"All I want to know is where, who he gave that money to," said Kawamoto through his translator.

It's a question Genshiro Kawamoto says Turbin hasn't answered, since Kawamoto gave Turbin a check last Spring.

"I handed over some money to Mr. Turbin to be used for charitable purposes, and to this date, I haven't gotten a report as to how that money was used, who he handed that money over," said Kawamoto.

"This was supposed to be a confidential settlement. Mr. Kawamoto stipulated that via confidential settlement for the Hawaiian lady who tripped and fell on the debris on his property," said Turbin, a Kahala resident.

That lady is Deborah Ramirez of Maili.

In September of 2008, she sued Kawamoto for the injuries she claims she suffered.

Turbin was her lawyer.

He says they reached a settlement and the charity money was part of the deal.

"My client and myself wanted a substantial portion of the money to go to charity. {Kawamoto} refused. He said, he absolutely did not want any money going to charity because {he said} 'if I give money to charity then every charity in Hawaii is going to be hitting me up for money'," said Turbin.

"If he used that to cover his campaign purposes, we have a major issue here," said Genshiro.

"For him to suggest that I took settlement money for my client to fund my campaign, is a disgusting smear. Mr. Kawamoto is not only lying but he is attempting to smear me," said Turbin.

Kawamoto says he can prove his story with a receipt, but has yet to produce it.

Neither man would disclose how much money was involved.

Turbin, however, did say that the settlement money went to his client, and attorney fees.

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