Last defendant sentenced in plot to rig bids at airport
The fifth and final defendant charged with federal crimes in a decade-long bid-rigging conspiracy at the Honolulu Airport avoided jail time for his role in the multimillion-dollar fraud.
U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Walter Y. Arakaki, president of Walter Y. Arakaki, General Contractor Inc., Monday to three years' probation for mail fraud for accepting an inflated payment for work he performed at the airport. Ezra also ordered Arakaki to pay a $10,000 fine.
Ezra sentenced the four other federal defendants, including former airport maintenance superintendent Dennis Hirokawa, former administrator of the airport's Visitor Information Program Richard Okada and two contractors, to prison terms ranging from three years and five months to nine years last year after they were found guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud.
He also ordered them to repay the state $4.5 million, plus the cost of the joint federal and state investigations.
Five other contractors who were charged in state court pleaded guilty to theft.
State and federal prosecutors said Hirokawa and Okada directed the scheme to "parcel" large jobs into smaller ones to avoid state procurement laws, and then collected kickbacks.
State auditors uncovered the fraud, which had been going on from the mid-1990s to 2002 when they found that the state paid $14,000 for four plywood planters for holiday poinsettias at the airport.