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Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, October 17, 2001



Post for Liberty House bankruptcy overseer

John Candon, formerly the appointed fee administrator in the three-year bankruptcy case of Liberty House, has been elected the permanent trustee in the liquidation of Trans Hawaiian Services Inc.

Candon was unanimously selected by a group of creditors of Trans Hawaiian. The transportation company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in July. The firm claimed more than $7 million in debts, but only $1.1 million in assets. Trans Hawaiian's largest creditor is Aloha Airlines, which is owed $2.5 million and has taken the lead of the creditors.

The bankruptcy case was recently converted to liquidation amid questions about the takeover of Trans Hawaiian by its competitor Roberts Hawaii Tours Inc., which took place during the seven months before the bankruptcy was filed. Candon has been identified as an expert in forensic accounting.

Trans Hawaiian's stock was sold in December to a company controlled by the sons of Robert Iwamoto Jr., owner of Roberts Hawaii. Roberts has since held the financial records for Trans Hawaiian, prompting concern from the U.S. Trustee's Office and creditors. The records -- stored in 300 boxes -- were recently secured by Trans Hawaiian's bankruptcy attorney, Chuck Choi, and will be delivered to Candon, Choi said yesterday. Candon must first receive the official approval of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King, which is expected to happen in the next week.

For 2nd time, developer files for bankruptcy

A developer who cost 50 people a total of $2.5 million in a failed condominium deal a decade ago filed for personal bankruptcy protection a second time yesterday.

Nowlin Correa, now a Waimanalo rancher, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation, saying he has debts of $15.1 million but no assets. Correa previously filed Chapter 7 in April 1994.

In 1991 and 1992, Correa had offered units in two separate condominiums, Emerson Court in Makiki and Punahou Sunset in Punahou. Correa had offered the units for sale at a discount if buyers paid immediately. The project ran out of money, however, and the buildings were sold as part of the 1994 bankruptcy, largely to pay secured lenders. Investors were supposed to get back a maximum of 12 cents on the dollar. It is not clear how much payment they received. Much of the debt listed in the new filing comes from before the 1994 filing.





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