The California investmentBy Rick Daysog
banker sues over KDP, an
A California-based investment banker has sued the Bishop Estate for fraud over a New Jersey-based Internet venture that went sour.
In a complaint filed yesterday in Orange County Superior Court, Dean Jensen alleged that the estate's $1.2 million investment in KDP Technologies LLC was a bogus transaction designed to personally benefit the recently ousted trustees and a relative of one of the trustees.
The suit -- which names former trustees Richard "Dickie" Wong, Oswald Stender, Henry Peters, Lokelani Lindsey, Gerard Jervis, Wong's brother-in-law Randy Stone and Stone's former employer, 20th Century Fox Studios Inc. -- also said Jensen lost $20 million in potential profits.
"Jensen is but one victim of an elaborate and far-reaching series of nefarious schemes perpetrated over the past decade by the trustees of Kamehameha Schools/ Bishop Estate," said Jensen's attorney Ron Rus. "It became increasingly clear that the Bishop Estate's investment in KDP was designed from the inception as a sham and that the Bishop Estate (trustees) had no interest in operating KDP as a profitable enterprise."
An estate lawyer declined comment, saying that the trust has not been served with the suit.
The estate's risky investment in KDP -- detailed in several Star-Bulletin articles during the past year -- has been a subject of the attorney general's two-year investigation into the Bishop Estate. Circuit Judge Bambi Weil also cited the investment in her May 6 order permanently removing Lokelani Lindsey as a $1 million-a-year trustee of the estate.
In 1997, the 115-year-old Bishop Estate invested $1.2 million in KDP, which developed an Internet-based software package to market actors, actresses and models to entertainment industry executives and agents.
But the trust pulled out of the venture last year after one of the company's directors, Los Angeles investment adviser Ben Bush, pleaded guilty to federal money-laundering charges.
Bush and Lindsey were co-plaintiffs in a 1996 Las Vegas suit to recover about $1.2 million from a fraudulent gold bullion scheme.
According to Jensen, the estate failed to disclose Lindsey's previous relationship with Bush. Lindsey, who had headed the estate's investment in KDP, also failed to disclose that she was interviewed by the FBI, which was investigating fraud allegations against Bush.
Jensen -- a former managing director of the Irvine, Calif.-based Geneva Cos. -- also faulted the estate for the hiring of Randy Stone as a KDP consultant.
At the estate's insistence, KDP paid Stone, a former vice president at Fox, about $100,000 for six months for doing virtually no work, Rus said.
KDP is the latest speculative trust investment to end up on the court docket. In 1994, actor Wayne Rogers sued the estate in Honolulu federal court over troubled partnerships that acquired two East Coast retail operations. The suit was later dismissed.
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