Two more engineering executives arrested
For the second time in a week, top executives from Honolulu engineering firms have been arrested as part of a massive investigation of illegal campaign contributions to Mayor Jeremy Harris and other politicians.
Edward K. Noda, vice president of a company that bears his name, has been booked on suspicion of second-degree theft and money laundering, according to prosecutors.
Also arrested was Nancy Matsuno, treasurer for R.M. Towill Corp., on suspicion of money laundering, illegal ownership of a business, and making campaign contributions under a false name.
Officials from Noda and Towill could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Aside from Noda and Matsuno, two other individuals were arrested on suspicion of money laundering, but it was not immediately clear whether they work for companies involved in the investigation. They are Linton H.L. Lee and Lambert D.Y. Lee.
The arrests came six days after R.M. Towill Corp. vice president Roy T. Tsutsui was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and other illegal activities related to campaign contributions.
Prosecutors have issued approximately 600 subpoenas to a wide range of companies and individuals in connection with the inquiry.
Noda agreed in March to pay the state Campaign Spending Commission a $53,000 fine for funneling money through other people to the campaigns of Harris, former Gov. Ben Cayetano and former Mayor Frank Fasi.
But the commission postponed a vote on accepting the fine after investigators discovered it was possible that there were additional illegal contributions by Noda's firm.
In March, R.M. Towill filed a court motion to quash a subpoena that sought company documents related to bank accounts, employees and campaign contributions.
The firm argued that the subpoena was overly broad and that it failed to identify the target of the investigation.
Prosecutors said Tsutsui's arrest was not directly related to the dispute over the subpoena, however.
The head of SSFM International, another engineering firm that gave heavily to Harris and received lucrative city contracts, pleaded no contest last December to felony money laundering and misdemeanor campaign finance charges.
The executive, Michael Matsumoto, awaits sentencing. Three others associated with SSFM were charged with misdemeanors.
In May, an attorney for the Food Pantry grocery chain was indicted on two misdemeanor charges for allegedly orchestrating illegal campaign contributions to Harris. The lawyer, Edward Chun, pleaded not guilty.