Non-existent boat draws $57,000 in fines
Two of the three companies that operate a ferry between Maui and Lana'i will have to pay more than $57,000 in fines for renting a slip at Lahaina Harbor for a nonexistent boat.
The state Board of Land and Natural Resources fined Hone Heke Corp. $25,000 and Kahili Charters Inc. $32,500 for giving false information on state documents.
The two companies and Pardner Inc. operate three ferries that provide service between Maui and Lana'i. All three vessels are berthed at Lahaina Harbor.
The 100-passenger Expeditions 3 makes five round trips six days a week. The 64-passenger Expeditions 2 travels once a week, and the 36-passenger Expeditions is used for unscheduled trips.
The state said the companies were fined for filling out paperwork to rent a fourth slip at Lahaina Harbor for the Manele Nelle, a boat that never existed. An attorney for the companies declined to say why they would want to rent a slip for a nonexistent boat.
An investigation by the state Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation began after the state prosecuted former Lahaina Harbor agent Gerald Lum on four counts of second-degree theft and one count of tampering with a governmental record.
Deputy Attorney General Christopher Young said Lum rented out slips and pocketed the money. Lum pleaded guilty last May and was sentenced to a year in the Maui County jail and ordered to pay $40,841 restitution to the state.