HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Businessman Albert Hee was convicted of tax fraud last week, and if ever there was a case for a judge to add more prison time for audacious greed and arrogance, this may be it.
Albert Hee built a company heavily subsidized by federal programs, then he used it like his personal piggy bank.
He gave a phony job to his daughter, paid his kids' college tuition, bought a fancy house in California as their private dorm and didn't see a problem using company funds for his regular massages. All this with money that came from you and me and was supposed to help serve Native Hawaiians.
In trial he tried to talk his way out of it: saying he didn't know the tax law or if that didn't work, that these were justifiable business expenses. The jury saw through it easily.
Another reason for us all to watch this case was that Albert Hee was one of the good-ole-boys we hear about too often when it comes to doing business in Hawaii.
The brother of a powerful state senator he also employed executives with close ties to Senator Inouye whose clout helped keep the subsidies flowing.
So when Albert Hee stands before the judge, we will be watching.
His case was not just about stealing from taxpayers but about flagrant abuse of our political system for personal gain. His sentence should send a message that our justice system doesn't tolerate this kind of behavior no matter who you are or who you know.