Hawaii Supreme Court Makes Ruling in Seizure of Sweepstakes Gambling Machines
The Supreme Court held that the failure of the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) and the prosecutor to comply with the 21 and 45-day statutory deadlines contained in Haw. Rev. Stat. 712A-7 and 712A-9 are applicable to the seizure of Petitioner's property and require its return.
Back in 2014, former Circuit Court Judge Randal Lee dismissed, (without prejudice), the first Sweepstakes Gambling Ring case. At 414 counts, it remains the largest indictment in the history of the state of Hawaii.
Upon second filing, the prosecutor's office lost again with a dismissal via violating the speedy trial rule; (rule 48)
Repeated failures by the prosecutor “suggest either a pattern of negligence at the very least or, perhaps even worse, bad faith.” - Judge Trader (2016)
(Flashback) Attorney Thomas Otakes hugs defendant Tracy Yoshimura after favorable outcome in 2016
(2016) At that time , Fmr. Honolulu Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro said in a written statement that he disagrees with and is disappointed by Judge Trader’s characterization of how his office handled the case.
“My office acted in good faith and in the interest of the people of Honolulu,” Kaneshiro said.
Kaneshiro received a target letter in 2018 and remains the focus of a Justice Department criminal investigation.
Yoshimura’s attorney Keith Kiuchi said the Supreme Court ruling has broader implications for other properties that were improperly seized from his client and others under Hawaii’s forfeiture laws.
“There’s another 150 machines and we’re going to want those machines back because they never filed for civil forfeiture,” he said.
Kiuchi added that in 2017 Maui police confiscated dozens of machines owned by another company at an arcade under similar circumstances. He said those machines and other seized items were worth more than $250,000.
About the Law Office of David Hayakawa
David Hayakawa has a long history of defending clients in criminal matters, family law, and is known as the "King of Family Court." His areas of specialty include:
- Temporary Restraining Orders
-Sexual Assault defense
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Mr. Hayakawa has been recognized in Honolulu Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Hawaii" for Criminal Defense and was named "Lawyer of the Year" by the national publication "The Best Lawyers in America."