Tuesday, May 19, 1998

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Trustee’s accountant
protests subpoena

Inquiry on Bishop Estate
pursues records of work on
Henry Peters' home

By Rick Daysog


The state attorney general's office has subpoenaed Bishop Estate trustee Henry Peters' accountant for records about construction or renovation at Peters' Waianae home.

But the accountant, Wendell Yim, filed a motion yesterday to throw out the subpoena, arguing that he is prohibited from turning over the records under federal law.

The subpoena, issued May 13, asked Yim to turn over all correspondence, billing information, computer files and other documents relating to construction or renovation at Peters' Waianae home during 1993 and 1994.

The subpoena does not say which company conducted the work or what kind of work was done.

The action is part of the state's investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement and breaches of fiduciary duties by Bishop Estate trustees.

Circuit Judge Kevin Chang has set a July 9 hearing on the subpoena.

The attorney general's office declined comment, and an estate spokesman could not be reached for response. Yim could not be reached for comment.

But in legal papers filed with the motion to quash the subpoena, Yim's attorney Jason Wong argued that any documents about Peters' home were obtained while Yim was preparing Peters' tax returns. Wong argued that the disclosure of such records is prohibited by federal law.

Renee Yuen, Peters' lawyer, said the state is on a "fishing expedition," saying Peters has not committed any improprieties.

According to an online version of state land records, Peters and his wife acquired the deed to the 14,000-square-foot Waianae property in 1986 for $266,000. In July 1993, Peters received approval to conduct $15,000 worth of construction on the home, according to city Department of Land Utilization records.

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