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9 indicted in connection with gaming machines

By Rob Shikina

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:05 p.m. HST, May 02, 2014


An Oahu grand jury Thursday returned a sealed indictment charging nine people with more than 400 counts of racketeering, promoting gambling, and money laundering in connection with sweepstakes gaming machines.

The indictment did not name the individuals, but attorney Keith Kiuchi said they are his clients and have been involved with the Products Direct Sweepstakes machine.

One of the indicted is Tracy Yoshimura, owner of PJY Enterprises, a distributor of the sweepstakes machines, Kiuchi said. Also indicted were Eugene and Clayton Simeona, who were involved with a store where police seized some of the sweepstakes machines in February 2013. The six other people indicted are clerks at the businesses, Kiuchi said.

"We did not expect this," Kiuchi said by phone. "We're going to vigorously defend against this oppressive indictment."

Kiuchi found out about the indictment after Clayton Simeona was arrested this afternoon. He is arranging for the others to turn themselves in. He said bail for Yoshimura has been set at $250,000. Yoshimura is expected to turn himself in and make bail.

Kiuchi said he believes the indictment was brought by the state Attorney General's Office. However, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office, Anne E. Lopez, said in an email statement that the office was not involved in this matter. 

He said that before his client began his business, another of his attorneys presented the business plan to Attorney General's Office, but the office never clarified that the machines were illegal.

Police have seized about 180 of the machines from arcades since September 2012. Several more machines were seized from a store in Aiea on Tuesday. A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that use of the machines constitutes gambling in Hawaii.







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hlau64 wrote:
The Honolulu Police Department and the Prosecutor's office investigate and prosecute gambling cases. Did Mr. Kiuichi contact them to determine if these were considered gambling machines?....Don't use the Attorney General's office as a scapegoat saying they did not clarify these machines being illegal. As attorneys they should do a better job representing their clients.
on May 2,2014 | 05:48PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
These machines were around. The attorney general determined after the fact that they were gambling machines. Then they indict the people. I think this whole scene is backwards. I wonder if the state collected taxes off the income of these games. If so, are they going to return it?
on May 2,2014 | 07:58PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
If these are gambling machines, then the income they generated was probably illicit, and the owner is not entitled to it. The state would get the money anyway.
on May 2,2014 | 08:37PM
HD36 wrote:
The state will shut this down so that they can open their own revenue machine when it becomes apparent there's a severe economic decline on the horizon.
on May 2,2014 | 05:54PM
jtamura69 wrote:
I wonder why the State of Hawaii is so against gambling? These politicians must have an ulterior motive. That's why they go above and beyond to keep gambling out. If the state used their time and energy on more useful things then maybe Hawaii would be a more business friendly place.
on May 2,2014 | 08:23PM
niimi wrote:
9 dumb guys for trying to pull this stunt here. I hope they all go to jail!!!
on May 2,2014 | 08:26PM
LadyNinja wrote:
Once again, Tracy Yoshimura is in the limelight. He absolutely loves the spotlight.
on May 2,2014 | 09:32PM
WalkoffBalk wrote:
Are those machines made of copper? So, they finally caught those copper capers.
on May 2,2014 | 10:33PM
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