Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, February 24, 2020
Hawaii ILWU Official Sentenced for Tax Evasion, Identity Theft
By Selected News Articles @ 5:11 PM :: 1498 Views :: Ethics, Labor, Law Enforcement

Hawaii ILWU Official Sentenced for Tax Evasion, Identity Theft

by Carl Horowitz, NLPC, February 24, 2020

If government benefits were available, Nathan Lum made sure that he was going to receive some of them, legally or not. But the only thing that he’s received now is a sentence. On January 29, Lum, former Longshore Division director of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 142, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii to 30 months in prison for tax fraud and identity theft totaling more than $300,000 over several years. The identity theft involved his cashing of Social Security checks owed to his deceased father. Lum had pleaded guilty last March after an initial indictment in July 2018 and another one that September. He also will have to pay full restitution, plus a $125 special assessment. The actions follow a probe by the FBI, the IRS and the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards.

Nathan Y.G. Lum, now 62, a resident of Honolulu, for a couple decades had controlled the docks through his position at ILWU Local 142, which has about 18,000 members of whom over a thousand are longshoremen. That gave him a lot of leverage over the Hawaiian economy. “Basically, he was in charge of the stevedores in the state, and they have negotiated labor union contracts that control the flow of virtually goods in and out of the state,” says veteran Hawaii investigative reporter Jim Dooley, author of the book, Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers, and Corruption in the Aloha State. “So, he’s enormously influential.”

Sometimes having that kind of power translated into a license to steal. In 2011, international union filings with the Department of Labor revealed that Lum had made more than $24,000 in unauthorized purchases with a union credit card, though he later repaid the money. And back in the Nineties – Lum by then had taken control of the longshoremen division – the FBI and the Honolulu Police Department conducted a joint investigation of Hawaiian waterfront corruption, Operation Harbor Rats. There was ample evidence that ILWU Local 142 was ripping off hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars from the Matson Navigation shipping terminal. Nobody was convicted. One union member, Bruce Perry, was tried twice by a state jury for viciously beating a whistleblower, Quentin Tahara, but each case resulted in a mistrial.  

Old habits apparently wouldn’t die. According to prosecutors, Lum during 2011-17 knowingly failed to file any federal or state personal income tax returns despite having a gross annual union pay in excess of $200,000 for most of that time. That evasion added up to $280,743.27. In particular, he failed to report about $90,000 in payments he received from Beverly Hills-based indie film studio Relativity Media during 2012 and 2013 in connection with his efforts to secure state tax credits from the Hawaii legislature. But that wasn’t all. After his father’s death in June 2013, he cashed his Social Security checks for about two and half years, forging the father’s signature on over 50 checks, depositing the checks into his own bank account, and then using the money for personal expenses. The tab for this pilferage was $33,435. That raised the grand total of his thefts to $314,178.27. Nathan Lum pleaded guilty last March to charges of tax evasion and aggravated identity theft; prosecutors, as part of the deal, dropped a theft charge. At sentencing this January before U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson, Lum was contrite: “First of all, I offered no excuses,” he stated. “From day one, I admitted yes, I did commit those crimes.”  

Federal officials have no doubt that Lum received his just deserts. “The sentence imposed today holds Lum accountable for his flagrant violation of federal law,” said U.S. Attorney Kenji Price. “It sends a message to all in Hawaii that no one in Hawaii, regardless of position or privilege, is above the law. Those who hold positions of trust, such as leaders of Hawaii’s public- and private-sector unions, are fully accountable for their conduct, and when they intentionally violate federal law, my office will work with law enforcement to ensure that there are consequences.” IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Justin Campbell likewise commented: “Nathan Lum earned a significant income based partly on his criminal conduct and position of influence. He knew he had an obligation to file his income tax return, but chose not to.”

This raises the issue of what other things federal and local investigators might uncover. Given Lum’s role as a power broker between the worlds of Hawaii business, labor and politics, it is little surprise that a probe of other members of Local 142 reportedly has been ongoing. Lum’s attorney, Myles Breiner, is convinced that his client took a fall for other corrupt union leaders. “Most likely, this is going to lead to subsequent indictments,” Breiner remarked last year. If nothing else, time will show the wiser.

FURTHER READING

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT