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No sign of missing UH money, university officials told

By Ferd Lewis & Dan Nakaso


The FBI has informed University of Hawaii officials that it can find no trace of the school's money in a Florida bank account said to be involved in a bogus Stevie Wonder fund-raising concert for UH athletics, UH sources told the Star-Advertiser today.

Local promoter Bob Peyton told the Star-Advertiser that he wired $50,000 of his money to an account at an Orlando, Fla., bank belonging to Epic Talent Inc., which has a Miami address. And Peyton said that UH officials wired $200,000 to the same account. 

But a UH official said the school has been told by the FBI that there is no trace of the money in the account purportedly belonging to Epic Talent Inc.

FBI Special Agent Tom Simon acknowledged the agency had been contacted by the UH, but said he could not comment further. "I can confirm that the referral has been made to the FBI Honolulu office by the University of Hawaii. But DOJ (Department of Justice) policies prohibit me from confirming or denying the existence of an FBI investigation unless or until charges are filed," he said.

New UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple told reporters Wednesday that the $200,000 came from UH funds, possibly athletic department revolving funds. The money was wired by the school's finance office, according to UH.

UH athletic director Jim Donovan told reporters Tuesday that UH had wired $200,000 as part of the deal to bring the Aug. 18 benefit concert to the Stan Sheriff Center. The concert was canceled Tuesday when Donovan said Wonder's agent told the school that the entertainer had no knowledge of the event.

UH officials placed Donovan, and Stan Sheriff arena manager Rich Sheriff, on indefinite paid leave Wednesday pending an investigation.

Apple told the Star-Advertiser today that he does not anticipate any other disciplinary actions against UH officials who may have been involved in the concert until a separate investigation by "an external investigator" is finished. "I don't know if it will take two days or two weeks," Apple said.

Apple declined to identify who will conduct the investigation looking into UH operational policies.

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CriticalReader wrote:
Can you guys be a little clearer? Did the money go from UH to BPE to Epic? Or, did the money go from UH directly to Epic? In other words, was BPE ever in possession of UH's funds? Either way, ask for banking wire transfer records from UH and BPE. That'll tell you the story. Especially the UH records. The one thing apparently not in dispute is that UH wired the funds somewhere. Could you guys just plainly say where?
on July 12,2012 | 03:11PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Never mind. Thanks for updating the story.
on July 12,2012 | 03:14PM
Dawg wrote:
Who cares? It is gone and Jimbo D. should be dealt with likewise. Aloha and no Mahalo for losing the State's money. Looser!
on July 12,2012 | 03:20PM
8027382458 wrote:
So your perfect, Ive been made a fool of, and let me tell you it hurts. Aloha J.D keep your head up.
on July 12,2012 | 04:10PM
serious wrote:
They can trace a mad cow 3-4 years later, know its date of birth, ancestry, etc. This doesn't seem right. They know Bush did it, but they can't trace him!!!
on July 13,2012 | 02:30AM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Somebody's lying. The money can't have disappeared into thin air. If the receiving bank has no record of receiving it then the money was never wired. State and county government financial offices are very sloppy. I once worked on a case where a government fiscal employee stole over $100,000.00 but was never prosecuted because the office's record keeping was so sloppy the office could not prove that the money was gone because its checking accounts were never reconciled with the bank and were always off by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Either that or the money was wired to an account that did not belong to the promotion company, but rather belonged to an accomplice of the Hawaii thief.
on July 12,2012 | 03:21PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
And, who is the Hawaii thief? Maybe we need McGarrett?
on July 12,2012 | 06:31PM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 12,2012 | 03:21PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Getting paid to stay home and do nothing. Where do I sign up!
on July 12,2012 | 04:02PM
turbolink wrote:
It's called the Hinshaw Plan.
on July 12,2012 | 04:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
No the Abercrombie Plan. Plan A and Plan B. If u cannot succeed with Plan B, then collect welfare.
on July 12,2012 | 06:36PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
oh i thought it was UNPAID leave. Well, i like THAT !!! Please take as long as you guys want with the investigation. By the time it is done, maybe Jim and Rich (funny the name is Rich) will be in South America counting their dough. Well, I would hardly want to blame Rich, the son of Stan, though.
on July 12,2012 | 06:35PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Check Nestor Garcia's accounts.
on July 12,2012 | 03:21PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
That actually would not surprize me knowing how unethical he is..
on July 12,2012 | 05:36PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
on July 12,2012 | 06:36PM
ryanha wrote:
UH just fell for the biggest Nigerian scam of all time.
on July 12,2012 | 03:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Who in the heck raises funds for an Athletic Department by holding concerts LOL ?
on July 12,2012 | 06:37PM
islandsun wrote:
AD's with programs that are not winning.
on July 12,2012 | 09:09PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
Because no one other than the local promoter and the athletic department checked out whether the Florida company was the real representative of Stevie Wonder and the money was either never wired or wired to an account belonging to an accomplice of the thief, someone from the promoter's office is definitely in on the scam. Someone from the UH Athletic Dept. might also be in on the scam. In any event, the buck stops with the UH Athletic Director for not being careful about what went on under his nose, and he should be fired now, with the money that's missing from his department taken out of the remaining money owed on his contract.
on July 12,2012 | 03:30PM
lowtone123 wrote:
Ooh...what a surprise! As soon as the money was wired to the account the money probably was wired through several transactions to an account oversees. The money is gone forever and someone (or some people) are going to lose their jobs over this mess.
on July 12,2012 | 04:00PM
lowtone123 wrote:
on July 12,2012 | 04:01PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Thanks. Next time just reply to your own comment. It makes it definite that u seen the typo.
on July 12,2012 | 06:38PM
niimi wrote:
John and Rich can keep their jobs if they come up with the $200,000.00. That would be a fair offer.
on July 12,2012 | 04:17PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
That would prove guilt though.
on July 12,2012 | 06:38PM
Anonymous wrote:
Promise them their jobs if the money is paid back then fire them the UH way.
on July 12,2012 | 08:49PM
niimi wrote:
LOL, that's too funny! I'll bet the money is in someone's offshore bank account now. :-)
on July 12,2012 | 09:58PM
st1d wrote:
safe to say that stevie wonder never saw the money.
on July 12,2012 | 04:36PM
bobbob wrote:
on July 12,2012 | 04:58PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well there goes our invitation into the Pac-16.
on July 12,2012 | 06:39PM
sohappy2beme wrote:
If I were Stevie Wonder and I heard what happened, I would make every effort to try and help. He would be such the hero to help a floundering university's athletic department. He is in the middle of an extortion case against his cousin....he was worried about the negative PR he would receive if the tape his cousin had made were released. Who knows what will come out during that trial, but coming to the aid of UH would be awesome and he would get some major props for that. (Yeah, I am naive, but I can hope!)
on July 12,2012 | 05:10PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Need to follow the paper trail all the way back to the beginning, including who had the bright idea of having this concert, and all those that were involved in between. However wiring money has to have turned on a super duper red light !!!! Similar to Lingle losing the billion dollars.
on July 12,2012 | 06:41PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Dang. It almost feels like Herman Fraizer is still the AD at UH. Why is it every UH AD after Stan Sheriff has had very embarrassing moments?
on July 12,2012 | 05:17PM
islandsun wrote:
Because the selection committee in charge blew it.
on July 12,2012 | 09:11PM
turbolink wrote:
Does anyone miss Evan Dobelle? From the top down, a culture of mediocrity. Reinforces "those that can, do; those that can't, teach."
on July 12,2012 | 05:17PM
tjpmd1 wrote:
Yes, he wasn't there long but was certainly a big idea guy. I liked his vision. We need big ideas and more important -- smart people to implement them. I agree with your assessment of the current culture of mediocrity.
on July 12,2012 | 11:53PM
Papakolea wrote:
As soon as I get my $800,000 from my long lost Nigerian relatives, I will donate $200,000 of ti to the UH.
on July 12,2012 | 06:24PM
soundofreason wrote:
I bet my Nigerian relatives will get me my money before you get yours. ;)
on July 12,2012 | 06:32PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Somebody get this guy's IP address.
on July 12,2012 | 06:41PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Looser refers to making a tourniquet less tighter. Loser means well someone who loses. Please check your spelling. This is a recording.
on July 12,2012 | 06:32PM
username_required wrote:
Less tight would have been more better.
on July 12,2012 | 09:53PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The biggest issue yet is I hope the State does not raise taxes to cover the loss. All u guys do is raise taxes. LOL.
on July 12,2012 | 06:43PM
localguy wrote:
Responsibility for this willful fiasco starts at the very top. Greenwood and Tom Apple are directly responsible for the actions of their staff members. They failed to provide the checks and balances to protect university funds, allowing the $200k to go away without any formal approval/review. Besides placing Jim Donovan and Rich Sheriff on paid leave, the two senior baboozes need to be chastised for their willful failures. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Actually this fiasco is not a surprise. UH management is responsible for the ongoing string of failures such as failing to protect student's personal information, not properly securing UH records in a fire safe building, on and on. All this has proven UH is incapable of managing a safe biohazard lab. UH management failures have earned them a vote of "No Confidence."
on July 12,2012 | 07:25PM
Bothrops wrote:
Apple has been here like a week.Hard to see how he is responsible for anything.
on July 12,2012 | 08:34PM
csdhawaii wrote:
Faculty members suggesting votes of "no confidence" ALREADY? Gee, wasn't Hinshaw given around two years before you did that to her...give Apple at least two WEEKS, dude, and post this next week.
on July 12,2012 | 10:52PM
Descartes22 wrote:
This one ranks up there with:"No worry, the Stadium is supposed to rust."
on July 12,2012 | 07:27PM
false wrote:
If the FBI is involved I'm sure they'll get to the bottom of things eventually. Because fact is usually stranger than fiction, I'm prepared for some surprises in this case. Until then, all I know is what I read, which = money gone, no one knows where, but it must be somewhere. Maybe on the way to the Bahamas in a suitcase.
on July 12,2012 | 08:02PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
I think UH's money is at the place where ever Ronald Rewald went.
on July 12,2012 | 08:08PM
squeaky_weal wrote:
More evidence that "higher education" is a ruse. Nearly every critical leadership position in our society is claimed by post graduate degree professionals from the country's' best University's. .......and look where that is getting us.
on July 12,2012 | 08:40PM
Anonymous wrote:
Yea imagine if it wasn't that way....
on July 12,2012 | 09:54PM
Anonymous wrote:
This athletic department is a joke. Jim, Rich and the other incompetents must tender their resignations asap after the investigation is completed. Freitas can take over the AD position until another hack is hired. UH continues to select top notch people for their most trusted positions. This university is worthy of its 4th tier status. Wear it with honor my friends...
on July 12,2012 | 09:01PM
Opelu wrote:
Maybe Aloha Oe for Donovan and Sheriff ?
on July 12,2012 | 09:50PM
shakattack wrote:
According to this website, Epic Talent has only been in business for 5 months. Jim Donovan and the lawyer who approved the deal should have looked into the background of this company. I mean how hard is it? All i did was search "epic talent miami" and found the information.The company is register in the name of Sean G Barriero and lists Sannise S Crosby as a manager. http://www.ishcc.org/FL/Miami/epic-talent-llc
on July 12,2012 | 09:55PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The people who did this are the people who educate our children. No wonder we have so little to show for our school system.
on July 12,2012 | 09:59PM
niimi wrote:
I have completely lost faith in the UH Athletic Department leadership. Clapp signed off releasing the money with JD out of town. Clapp should be gone, too.
on July 12,2012 | 10:00PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
The Democratic party should come up with it since the run Hawaii.
on July 12,2012 | 10:59PM
sukebesan wrote:
Hopefully, Donovan and Sherrif will also go permanently missing when they are both called in for questioning by the FBI.
on July 13,2012 | 12:08AM
ehowzit wrote:
on July 13,2012 | 12:43AM
Hawaii_Libertarian wrote:
This is a perfect example of why taxpayer subsidies of public universities must end. Endless taxpayer subsidies of public universities just underwrites and promotes a culture of mediocre leadership, corruption, and incompetence. UH priorities are totally out of balance when the athletic program gets more priority than academics. Save the taxpayers--sell the UH campus, privatize the institution, and many of these problems will clear themselves through a more efficient allocation of resources.
on July 13,2012 | 01:27AM
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