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Hee sentencing postponed due to concern over prison care

  • STAR-ADVERTISER /July 10

    Defendant Albert Hee exited the federal courtroom on July 10. His sentencing for tax fraud was rescheduled to Jan. 6.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway delayed sentencing Honolulu telecommunications executive Albert Hee for a second time on Tuesday citing ongoing concerns about whether he will be able to get appropriate medical care for his food and environmental allergies in prison.

Hee’s attorney Michael Purpura testified that Hee suffers from severe allergies and that “any period of incarceration is life threatening.” Hee also suffered a heart attack in 2011, according to his defense, making his medical condition more fragile.

Prosecutors have recommended that Hee be sentenced to between 41 and 51 months in prison for tax fraud. They say he siphoned about $4 million from his company Waimana Enterprises to cover “false” salaries to family members, college tuition for his children, family vacations, massages and dozens of other personal expenses.

Hee directed accountants and company employees to classify many of the personal expenses as business deductions or part of a shareholder loan that was never intended to be repaid, according to prosecutors.

Hee was convicted in July on six counts of filing false income tax returns and one count of corruptly impeding the Internal Revenue Service from correctly calculating and collecting his taxes.

The court set a new sentencing date for Jan. 6.

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