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Thursday, January 18, 2001

New criminal
charges filed
against ex-Sen. Ige

The former legislator is accused
of theft, tax evasion, extortion
and money laundering

By Rick Daysog

State investigators arrested former state Sen. Marshall Ige today after the attorney general's office filed new criminal charges against the former Windward Oahu legislator for theft, tax evasion, extortion and money laundering.

In a five-count criminal complaint filed in state District Court, Attorney General Earl Anzai alleged that Ige illegally took $30,000 from an elderly Beverly Hills couple in 1998 and laundered the proceeds through a third party.

The state also alleged that Ige took $7,000 from a local farmer in June 1999 after threatening to evict the farmer.

Ige, who lost his Windward Oahu Senate seat last year, turned himself in this morning to the attorney general's office after a District Court judge issued an arrest warrant. Ige will appear before a District Court judge for a preliminary hearing on the new criminal charges.

If convicted, Ige could face up to 10 years in prison for the first-degree theft charge and up to five years for the money laundering, tax evasion and extortion charges. Ige also was charged with a second-degree theft charge, which is punishable by a five-year sentence.

The new complaint is in addition to campaign finance-related charges faced by Ige. In July 1999, the attorney general's office charged that Ige failed to report $22,500 in campaign contributions and accepted an improper campaign loan.

Ige has pleaded not guilty to the campaign finance charges and his case is scheduled to go to trial next month.

Ige could not be reached for comment this morning and his attorney, Mike McCarthy, was not available for response.

Anzai also declined comment, citing the pending criminal investigation. But court documents filed with the charges provide an outline of the state's case.

Back in 1998, Ige promised Rita and Morris Wolfred of Beverly Hills that he would expunge their daughter's criminal record in Hawaii in exchange for $30,000, state investigator Paul Sakaida said in a 20-page affidavit.

Ige then instructed the couple to deposit the money with a friend who later gave most of the money to Ige. Ige was unable to expunge the woman's criminal record but did not return the money to the couple, according to the affidavit.

The friend later repaid the Wolfreds $4,300 out of the $30,000.

Sakaida also testified that Ige induced Punaluu farmer Hanh Lam to give him $7,000 in advance lease rent in 1999, saying he could evict the farmer from the property.

Ige, who refunded some of the $7,000 to Lam, did not have the power to evict Lam since Lam was in compliance with his lease, according to the state. The state also said that Ige was not the owner of the property but had leased it from a California investor. Ige, in turn, had subleased the Punaluu property to Lam.

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