Hawaii telecom executive sentenced to 46 months behind bars - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii telecom executive sentenced to 46 months behind bars

Albert Hee Albert Hee

Telecommunications executive Albert Hee was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison on Wednesday for tax charges.

In July, a federal jury took less than two days to reach its verdict against Hee, finding him guilty on six counts of filing a false tax return and a single count of interfering with the Internal Revenue Service.

Hee is the younger brother of former state Sen. Clayton Hee and the founder of Sandwich Isles Communications. Onlookers say he capitalized on his political connections to build a rural phone service into one of the state’s largest telecommunications companies.

Sandwich Isles provides telecommunications serves for more than 6,400 native Hawaiians living on homestead land. The company was established in 1995 to provide phone services for an under-served population.

Prosecutors said Hee used business funds it to serve his own personal needs.

According to an indictment last year, Sandwich Isle's parent company, Waimana Enterprises, paid more than $4 million in Hee's personal expenses.

Prosecutors alleged that Hee convinced the company to disguise the purchases as legitimate business expenses.

Those expenses included $718,000 for his children's college expenses, $590,000 in wages for his wife and $92,000 for his own therapeutic massages.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway recommended Hee serve his sentence at a medical facility in Minnesota because of his severe allergies and a heart condition, the Star-Advertiser reported.

Hee must surrender to federal authorities to begin serving time in April.

Hee’s lawyers are likely to appeal.

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