By SAM EIFLING
HONOLULU (AP) - A businessman with a chain of Italian restaurants in Hawaii has been sentenced to 6 months in prison for laundering $1.3 million in illegal gambling funds through his eateries.
Thomas Ky, who owns five Assaggio restaurants in Oahu, was also sentenced Wednesday to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. He previously agreed to forfeit the $1.3 million.
Ky's sentence was far less than the maximum possible term of 20 years. Prosecutors and Ky's defense lawyers spent more than an hour at a hearing haggling over the terms of the sentence.
Ky admitted to being part of a larger gambling operation, with more than 20 people pleading guilty, including head bookie Felix Gee Won Tom. Ky says he wanted the money to look legitimate.