Isle lawyer resigns over $7.9M fraud
A 57-year-old Honolulu attorney, convicted of fraudulently diverting $7.9 million to himself from insurance companies in liquidation after Hurricane Iniki hit Kauai in 1992, resigned from practicing law effective Jan. 6.
By doing so, Jerrold Y. Chun avoids disciplinary action by the Hawaii Supreme Court. The high court issued Chun a restraining order from the practice of law on May 2.
Chun pleaded no contest in August 2004 to three counts of first-degree theft, unlawful ownership or operation of a business and 10 counts of money laundering.
He was sentenced Dec. 13, 2004, to 10 years' imprisonment.
Chun was accused of diverting the $7.9 million to himself on three occasions in June and July 2003 from Hawaiian Underwriters Insurance Co. and United National Insurance Co., which are now known as HUI/UNICO in Liquidation Inc.
The two companies were taken over and merged by the Insurance Commissioner after claims exceeded their available funds.
Chun was assigned to help liquidate the companies' assets and continued the work after forming his own law firm, Chun & Nagatani.
State prosecutors said Chun orchestrated the scheme by requesting more money than was needed from the insurance companies to pay off claims and kept the surplus.
Chun obtained his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1977.