Coco Palms at defining moment

In the climax of the trial of the Native Hawaiians who have occupied the grounds of the former Coco Palms resort in Wailua — especially when Judge Michael Soong gave the group until 6 p.m. Sunday to leave or be removed — many in the gallery did not notice a tall man sitting in the corner of the very back row.

He was Darryl Perry, chief of the Kauai Police Department. Dressed nondescriptly in a subdued Hawaiian shirt and slacks, he’d walked over from his office across the street from the courthouse to listen to closing arguments in the trial, in its seventh day.

Since few in the District Court courtroom expected Judge Soong to rule on the spot, without waiting a few days to craft an opinion to be issued later, it’s at least even money that Perry didn’t know what was coming any more than anyone else did.

The ruling came after closing arguments whose content mirrored the reality that has surrounded this case from the beginning: The owners of the Coco Palms property and the occupiers see, essentially, two universes of reality. Coco Palms and its lawyers see a legally simple trespassing case in which existing case law gave Soong no choice but to evict the occupiers.

The occupiers see it far differently.

To them, the standoff at Coco Palms is the latest offense in 125 years of offenses against what they insist remains the Hawaiian Kingdom. They deny the authority and legitimacy of the court. They accused Soong of committing a felony and being complicit in war crimes, genocide and pillaging so often that it started to sound like a robocall.

They argued they have no obligation to recognize or respect federal or state law. Charles Hepa, one of the two occupier defendants, in his closing argument, called the court “a civilian arm of a military occupation.” He added: “There is no immunity or impunity when it comes to genocide.”

Defendant Noa Mau-Espirito went on a similar tirade in his closing.

“You guys,” he said, referring to the judge and Tyler Greene, one of the would be Coco Palms developers, “will also be held to account for a felony and a war crime.”

The two men, who were representing themselves, had obviously been in way over their heads trying a case based on technicalities of law.

Once Soong had ruled, the defendants asked a few questions about the specifics of his order and said they believe they are occupying land that is also not part of Coco Palms and might relocate and consolidate there. But supporters of the occupiers seemed unanimous in their view that the group will not comply willingly with the court’s order. This may be bravado. It may be theat.

All of this means that Kauai is about to — or may already have — become the epicenter of the decades long struggle of some Native Hawaiians to refuse to recognize the annexation of the islands in 1893 as legal or legitimate and have vowed to resist indefinitely, at almost any cost.

That’s why the presence of Chief Perry in the courtroom is important to note. Sometime in the next few days, he, Mayor Bernard Carvalho and County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask will have to develop one of the most sensitive response plans in any of their professional careers. The challenge is excruciating. They must find a way to uphold a clear, specific and lawful court order while at the same time not inflaming unnecessarily emotions already fraught.

Talking in the hallway after the ruling, Perry was understandably circumspect. He said he would be meeting with his command staff and continuing the careful process of developing a response plan in the event the occupiers force the hands of the authorities. Any police department worth its salt — and this one is — would have already been discussing contingencies. Clearly, KPD has been.

Later in the day Tuesday, Mayor Carvalho added his own carefully crafted statement to the mix: “When this issue came to light, I had encouraged both parties to seek resolution in court, where they could publicly share their documentation and have it thoroughly reviewed. Following Judge Soong’s ruling today, I would again encourage all involved to respect the court’s decision and move forward in a peaceful and respectful manner.”

This may well be a defining moment in the contemporary history of Kauai and the splintered, often ineffectual, movement for Hawaiian sovereignty. Kauai’s governing establishment — and, most likely, a large majority of regular residents — don’t want this controversy to blow up and bring the island to the center of one of the most vexing issues in Hawaiian history.

Yet the conflict over Coco Palms seems impossible to resolve without leaving some party to it bitter and angry. Jan. 28 is just a few days away. We can all hope that our leaders and all of the rest of us can find a way to neutralize this crisis before it spins out of control.

•••

Allan Parachini is a former journalist and PR executive. He is a Kilauea resident.

•••

This story has been edited to remove an error.

24 Comments
  1. My two cents January 24, 2018 3:28 am Reply

    Well well look like da haoles win again.. Why was expecting something diffrent to happen…. for once..


  2. Haupu Aea January 24, 2018 5:44 am Reply

    Good article, but one factoid is inaccurate: what occurred in 1893 was not legal.


    1. Aipopo January 26, 2018 11:38 pm Reply

      The overthrow didn’t need to be legal. It was a stronger country taking over a weaker country who didn’t want to even attempt to defend itself. Losers do not get to negotiate the terms of their capture.


      1. Jeff March 30, 2018 6:10 pm Reply

        Your response doesn’t answer Haupu Aea’s point. Unless a state of war existed with the U.S. at the time of this “taking over” in 1893 (it didn’t), legally it was theft, and it still is theft without a treaty in place. Independence and secession movements are nothing new in our country but Hawaii’s is the only one that stands any chance of advancing legally, because of the lack of a treaty.


  3. Reverend Malama Robinson January 24, 2018 5:49 am Reply

    If you bought or are considering buying land in Hawai’i…. you are meddling in in stolen goods.

    These are war crimes and we would be liars to hire a public relations person to cover it up. Go back to America but l leave Hawaiian Lands in HAWAIIAN HANDS!
    HAWAIIANKINGDOM.ORG


    1. Aipopo January 26, 2018 11:40 pm Reply

      Keanu Sai HS not won single case and it is foolish to follow his advice.


  4. Les Bois January 24, 2018 6:24 am Reply

    There is no such thing as a native Hawaiian. Everyones ancestors came from someplace else. Some came recently from places like the Philippines, Japan, and China; while some came long ago from the South Pacific. An immigrant who got off the plane yesterday is as much a native as someone whose ancestors came in a canoe 800 years ago.
    Let us not forget that the ancestors of the so-called native Hawaiians were not the first inhabitants, rather they exterminated the true first inhabitants, who came from the Marquesas Islands. Why should anyone have special privileges just because their ancestors exterminated another group of people?


    1. Manawai January 24, 2018 6:34 pm Reply

      Bravo! That was the truth!


    2. Claudia Cowden January 24, 2018 7:50 pm Reply

      ceedawn@gmail.com
      Right! Where are the original human inhabitants? The so-called, “manehune”; the little people, the common people? Genocide? Goes around comes around.


    3. Ojibway native January 30, 2018 7:19 am Reply

      Polynesians overthrew marnehune. Genocide occurred during this overthrow. USA then overthrew these same Polynesians but this was not through war it was through deceptive means. It was through paper not violence.


  5. Jake January 24, 2018 6:52 am Reply

    The Court’s time is finite, KPD’s time is finite, ….all the collective Government’s time and money (overtime, etc.) spent in this childish drama should be calculated, transparent, and presented to the collective taxpayers of Kauai.

    Kauai, and the rest of the state, needs to take a step back, collect the lessons-learned, and ensure via a state law or amendment, that this childish behavior will not be tolerated in the future.

    What are the priorities on this island? Is it affordable housing? …..education?……the roads?…..the homeless… Ask yourself what Kauai County could have done with all hundreds of thousands of $$$$$$$$$$$$ thrown at these adult children?

    These adult children define the 80-20 Rule. 20% of the people creating 80% of the problems on this island. They should be handed a bill on Sunday for all the money wasted on their childish drama, and forced to work it off.

    Finally, I’m sure these “Native Hawaiians” will leave the land as pristine and perfect as they found it. A great follow up article would be “Hepa / Noa Mau-Espirito’s 17 acres after Removal”.


  6. Luana Jones January 24, 2018 7:58 am Reply

    Until justice is served there will continue to be kanaka maoli struggling to assert their very (existense let alone) survival. Ua mau ke EA o ka aina i ka PONO!!! Where is the justice?


    1. Manawai January 24, 2018 6:47 pm Reply

      Give me a break! Native Hawaiians have all the opportunity anybody has to make a good life. The folks are just looking for free stuff as an excuse for not working like the rest of us. They are an embarrassment to native Hawaiians everywhere. I am a citizen of the Kingdom of Hawaii which would have never tolerated this I’ll behaviour.


  7. Fathom January 24, 2018 5:03 pm Reply

    The developers filed this lawsuit in a type of court that doesn’t allow title evidence, and the Hawaiian defendants couldn’t afford an attorney. The U.S. court system is very hard to navigate for Peoples of other cultures who can not afford expensive legal advice.

    But you can help these Native Hawaiians today!

    Please click on their GoFundMe account below and donate whatever you can. Give what ever you can afford, as even small amounts from many people can make a big difference!

    Mahalo nui loa🐬

    https://www.gofundme.com/wailua-ahupuaa?pc=fb_dn_cpgnsharemore_r&rcid=r01-151667990298-6be196d4694e4049


  8. Ka’olu January 24, 2018 11:45 pm Reply

    I’m 1893, The Kingdom of Hawai’i was forcibly and illegally overthrown, and the Republic of Hawai’i was established by foreigners. The Republic was annexed by the United States in 1898. Reference United States Public Law 103-150,
    If that’s the authority you want to recognize. Perhaps, Mr. Parachini, you are in way over your head writing about a case based on the “technicalities” of history.


  9. Lyndia Storey-Leonard January 25, 2018 6:26 am Reply

    Tragic! For all of us who love the Island, whether we live there or somewhere else, this is tragic. Protecting the land and the culture is of utmost importance and yet, the courts and most people bow to the money…. Kauai doesn’t need another expensive resort, with more people, traffic etc…. Kauai needs a “cultural boost” and this is not moving in that direction…


  10. MakaWow January 25, 2018 8:34 am Reply

    It is extremely disappointing that a creative compromise which would unite as oppose to divide could not be discovered in this drama. Anything that divides us is destructive to our communities & individual beings. Les Bios – impeccable words! Until we view our communities as one people/ one ‘ohana, we will continue to have lessens.


  11. Sandy January 25, 2018 4:22 pm Reply

    Exactly! None of these people are native Hawaiians! There is no such things! Plus, for those who are of lineage to those who came over, very few are even 1/2 these days. What are these guys? 1/110th? Isn’t it neat how they use all the resources of the US, but when it’s something “Hawaiian” then the US is illegal?


  12. Fathom January 25, 2018 7:28 pm Reply

    THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR!

    Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers have solicited investment loans of $500,000 each from as many as 172 wealthy Foreign Nationals, in exchange for automatic Green Cards and a direct path to U.S. Citizenship for these rich investors and each of their family members. This EB-5 Visas are often referred to as “Golden Visas’ for this reason.

    This Coco Palms Application, in the link below, shows how $86 million (2/3’s of the budget) for the 12,000 sq.’ Hyatt Resort was being raised through wealthy Foreign Nationals in exchange for Green Cards and a path to U.S. Citizenship for them and their family.

    These types of insured $500,000 ‘investment loans’ from wealthy foreign investors are happening all over Kaua`i, Hawai`i, and the United States of America —

    “The proposal identifies the new commercial enterprise (“NCE”) of the project as Lexden Coco Palms Loan Company, LLC, which was formed in the State of Delaware on January 31, 2014. The project is located at 4-947 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, on the island of Kauai in the State of Hawaii. 172 immigrant investors will subscribe to the NCE as limited partners in exchange for capital contributions of $500,000 each and an aggregate of $86 million. The NCE will loan the $86 million of EB-5 capital to a third-party entity, Coco Palms Resort. The EB-5 capital loan proceeds will be used to acquire and re-launch The Coco Palm Resort as the Coco Palms by Hyatt in Kauai.”

    http://www.cocopalmseb5.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Approval_Lexden_Hawaii.pdf

    The problem is, not even the U.S. Government is able to verify the true identities of these wealthy investors and their families, nor are they actually able to validate where this money comes from. That is why investors a National Security threat for us all. Here is a report from the United States Government Accountability Office —

    “The report concluded that because of difficulties ensuring the integrity of the Regional Center Program, USCIS was limited in its ability to prevent fraud or national security threats and could not demonstrate that the program was benefiting the U.S. economy and creating full-time employment as required by law.”

    “USCIS has identified fraud and national security risks in the EB-5 Program in various assessments it conducted over time and in collaboration with its interagency partners.”

    “Specifically, a senior FDNS official noted that while adjudication of petitions in the EB-5 Program, like other immigration programs, centers on the eligibility of the petitioner, the EB-5 Program also has an investment component that creates increased program complexity and the potential for fraud risks.”

    “However, according to USCIS officials, it can be difficult to verify the sources of immigrant investors’ funds and such verification difficulties could pose fraud risks to the program. For example, USCIS officials told us that some petitioners may have strong incentives to report inaccurate information about the source of their funds on their applications in instances when the funds come from illicit—and thus ineligible—sources, such as funds obtained through drug trade, human trafficking, or other criminal activities.”

    “USCIS officials said that IPO and FDNS did not have a means to verify self-reported immigrant financial information with many foreign banks. In addition, both USCIS and State officials noted that they did not have authority to verify banking information with many foreign countries. For example, State officials said that because the U.S. government lacks access to many foreign financial systems, there is no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners.”

    “Legitimacy of investment entity – The amount of investment required to participate in the EB-5 Program, coupled with the fact that EB-5 investors are making an investment in order to obtain an immigration benefit, can create fraud risks tied to unscrupulous regional center operators and intermediaries. According to SEC officials, they have identified instances of fraudulent investment schemes, including securities fraud, related to EB-5 investments.”

    https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/671940.pdf

    This ‘Advisory’ from the ‘U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’ (FinCEN) one of many reasons the Lexden-Coco Palms Loan Company’s statement about their EB-5 Visa program, which allows wealthy Foreign Nationals to receive an automatic ‘Green Card’ for investing in this Hyatt Resort development, concerns me so much —

    “Although FinCEN to date has focused on residential real estate, money laundering can also involve commercial real estate transactions.”

    “Real estate transactions and the real estate market have certain characteristics that make them vulnerable to abuse by illicit actors seeking to launder criminal proceeds. For example, many
    real estate transactions involve high-value assets, opaque entities, and processes that can limit transparency because of their complexity and diversity. In addition, the real estate market can be an attractive vehicle for laundering illicit gains because of the manner in which it appreciates in value, “cleans” large sums of money in a single transaction, and shields ill-gotten gains from market instability and exchange-rate fluctuations. For these reasons and others, drug traffickers, corrupt offcials, and other criminals can and have used real estate to conceal the existence and origins of their illicit funds.”

    “FinCEN’s analysis of BSA and GTO reported data, law enforcement information, and real estate deed records, as depicted by the case studies in this advisory, indicates that high-value residential real estate markets are vulnerable to penetration by foreign and domestic criminal organizations and corrupt actors, especially those misusing otherwise legitimate limited liability companies or other legal entities to shield their identities. In addition, when these transactions are conducted without any financing (i.e., “all-cash”), they can potentially avoid traditional anti-money laundering (AML) measures adopted by lending financial institutions, presenting increased risk.”

    “Money laundering is a crime orchestrated to conceal the source of illegal proceeds so that the money can be used without detection of its criminal source.”

    “Use of Shell Companies Decreases Transparency – Criminals launder money to obscure the illicit origin of their funds. To this end, money launderers can use a number of vehicles to reduce the transparency of their transactions. One such vehicle, highlighted in the below case study, is the use of shell companies. Shell companies are typically non-publicly traded corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), or trusts that have no physical presence beyond a mailing address and generate little to no independent economic value.Most shell companies are formed by individuals and businesses for legitimate purposes, such as to hold stock or assets of another business entity or to facilitate domestic and international currency trades, asset transfers, and corporate mergers. Shell companies can often be formed without disclosing the individuals that ultimately own or control them (i.e., their beneficial owners) and can be used to conduct financial transactions without disclosing their true beneficial owners’ involvement. Criminals abuse this anonymity to mask their identities, involvement in transactions, and origins of their wealth, hindering law enforcement efforts to identify individuals behind illicit activity.”

    “Criminals can use all-cash purchases to make payments in full for properties and evade scrutiny— on themselves and the origin of their wealth—that is regularly performed by financial institutions in transactions involving mortgages. All-cash transactions account for nearly one in four residential real estate purchases, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide, and are particularly exposed to abuse.”

    The entire FinCEN report can be read at this link —

    https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2017-08-22/Risk%20in%20Real%20Estate%20Advisory_FINAL%20508%20Tuesday%20%28002%29.pdf

    Here is how another Kaua`i resort development is soliciting these EB-5 investment loans to wealthy Foreign Nationals —

    http://www.sihl.in/pdf/hyatt-coconut-beach-resort-hawaii.pdf

    By May of 2016, funding for the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort being raised through the EB-5 Visa program was solicited to as many as 172 foreign investors, in exchange for Green Cards and a path to Citizenship for each $500,000 investor — $86 million total.

    As this 2015 column explains —

    “WHAT’S REALLY AT STAKE IN THE EB-5 INVESTOR VISA OVERHAUL: HONESTY”

    “Through the EB-5 visa program, wealthy foreigners can invest $500,000 to $1 million in development projects and in turn, receive green cards for themselves and family members if the investment can be shown to create 10 U.S. jobs. The program is now up for Congressional reauthorization.”

    “The ability to monetize a scarce public asset — access to the United States — has become a gravy train for developers seeking cheap loans, immigration attorneys, China-based migration agencies and federally-authorized investment packagers known as regional centers.”

    “The profits at stake prompt deceptive practices — both in marketing investments and claiming job creation — that distort the intent if not the letter of the law.”

    “But claiming that EB-5 investments create jobs at no expense to the taxpayer is bogus. It’s also why an expected compromise regarding reauthorization of EB-5 falls short, despite improvements to the program.”

    “The green card alchemizes profits. Think about it: As long they get green cards, the immigrant investors don’t really care about interest and will take a 1 percent return. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs getting the loan are eager to pay the regional center 5 to 8 percent as opposed to 12 percent they might have to pay on the open market.”

    “Yes, it’s unseemly that green cards can be acquired so cheaply. And I say cheaply, because remember, investors are not giving up $500,000; they’re just parking it for five years or so, and the major cost is foregone interest and fees.”

    “The Government Accountability Office this year concluded that the agency overseeing EB-5, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not validly analyze job creation. After all, projects financed through regional centers don’t require a headcount of employees. An economist’s report, which calculates not only direct jobs, but also indirect and induced jobs caused by spending, can suffice.”

    “One of the oddities about the EB-5 program is that the U.S. government is giving out the green cards, but the entrepreneur who puts together the investment gets the money. This scheme seems inefficient and open to corruption.”

    “EB-5 represents “corporate welfare” for certain businesses.”

    “In a modest reform, the new legislation mandates that one of the 10 required jobs be a direct job, validated with a head count.

    “So the EB-5 industry will still benefit from rules that allow them to credit immigrant investors for jobs created by the entire pot of money.”

    “In other words, the immigrant investors got credit for jobs financed by public subsidies and government-authorized tax-free bonds, funding that was already in place, not leveraged by the EB-5 investment.”

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/column-whats-really-at-stake-in-the-eb-5-investor-visa-overhaul-honesty

    We have to Wake Up to the reality that this is happening all over Hawai`i — not not only through the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers, but Everywhere!
    .


  13. Kanaka maoli January 26, 2018 8:01 am Reply

    You guys fail to remember the history of how the USA came to be..how they raped, killed, murdered the many native Americans..the aborigines of North America..it’s nothing new!!! How USA went to Kuwait and the Middle East and wreak havoc on illegally stealing oil from another country…there doing the same thing here on a Hawaii..it’s all about $$$, power, & control..this has been going on for centuries.
    USA is a corporation not a actual Nation. You guys are all fooled & blinded by what they’re really doing…the 1% with all the $$$ are just doing what they always have been doing. They get richer & richer..USA Is a corporation run by greedy business owners. That’s the plain truth…


    1. Fathom January 26, 2018 2:47 pm Reply

      You are absolutely right Kanaka maoli! And if more people learned the facts about Hawaiian history and culture, more people would begin to understand what has actually happened in Hawai`i and what is happening now.

      We must begin to reveal the truth about how these egregious behaviors by modern day Profiteers are continuing to have severe negative impacts on Hawaiian families and our sensitive ecosystems.

      On another matter concerning the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort development —

      THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR!

      Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers have solicited investment loans of $500,000 each from as many as 172 wealthy Foreign Nationals, in exchange for automatic Green Cards and a direct path to U.S. Citizenship for these rich investors and each of their family members. This EB-5 Visas are often referred to as “Golden Visas’ for this reason.

      This Coco Palms Application, in the link below, shows how $86 million (2/3’s of the budget) for the 12,000 sq.’ Hyatt Resort was being raised through wealthy Foreign Nationals in exchange for Green Cards and a path to U.S. Citizenship for them and their family.

      These types of insured $500,000 ‘investment loans’ from wealthy foreign investors are happening all over Kaua`i, Hawai`i, and the United States of America —

      “The proposal identifies the new commercial enterprise (“NCE”) of the project as Lexden Coco Palms Loan Company, LLC, which was formed in the State of Delaware on January 31, 2014. The project is located at 4-947 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, on the island of Kauai in the State of Hawaii. 172 immigrant investors will subscribe to the NCE as limited partners in exchange for capital contributions of $500,000 each and an aggregate of $86 million. The NCE will loan the $86 million of EB-5 capital to a third-party entity, Coco Palms Resort. The EB-5 capital loan proceeds will be used to acquire and re-launch The Coco Palm Resort as the Coco Palms by Hyatt in Kauai.”

      http://www.cocopalmseb5.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Approval_Lexden_Hawaii.pdf

      The problem is, not even the U.S. Government is able to verify the true identities of these wealthy investors and their families, nor are they actually able to validate where this money comes from. That is why investors a National Security threat for us all. Here is a report from the United States Government Accountability Office —

      “The report concluded that because of difficulties ensuring the integrity of the Regional Center Program, USCIS was limited in its ability to prevent fraud or national security threats and could not demonstrate that the program was benefiting the U.S. economy and creating full-time employment as required by law.”

      “USCIS has identified fraud and national security risks in the EB-5 Program in various assessments it conducted over time and in collaboration with its interagency partners.”

      “Specifically, a senior FDNS official noted that while adjudication of petitions in the EB-5 Program, like other immigration programs, centers on the eligibility of the petitioner, the EB-5 Program also has an investment component that creates increased program complexity and the potential for fraud risks.”

      “However, according to USCIS officials, it can be difficult to verify the sources of immigrant investors’ funds and such verification difficulties could pose fraud risks to the program. For example, USCIS officials told us that some petitioners may have strong incentives to report inaccurate information about the source of their funds on their applications in instances when the funds come from illicit—and thus ineligible—sources, such as funds obtained through drug trade, human trafficking, or other criminal activities.”

      “USCIS officials said that IPO and FDNS did not have a means to verify self-reported immigrant financial information with many foreign banks. In addition, both USCIS and State officials noted that they did not have authority to verify banking information with many foreign countries. For example, State officials said that because the U.S. government lacks access to many foreign financial systems, there is no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners.”

      “Legitimacy of investment entity – The amount of investment required to participate in the EB-5 Program, coupled with the fact that EB-5 investors are making an investment in order to obtain an immigration benefit, can create fraud risks tied to unscrupulous regional center operators and intermediaries. According to SEC officials, they have identified instances of fraudulent investment schemes, including securities fraud, related to EB-5 investments.”

      https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/671940.pdf

      This ‘Advisory’ from the ‘U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’ (FinCEN) one of many reasons the Lexden-Coco Palms Loan Company’s statement about their EB-5 Visa program, which allows wealthy Foreign Nationals to receive an automatic ‘Green Card’ for investing in this Hyatt Resort development, concerns me so much —

      “Although FinCEN to date has focused on residential real estate, money laundering can also involve commercial real estate transactions.”

      “Real estate transactions and the real estate market have certain characteristics that make them vulnerable to abuse by illicit actors seeking to launder criminal proceeds. For example, many
      real estate transactions involve high-value assets, opaque entities, and processes that can limit transparency because of their complexity and diversity. In addition, the real estate market can be an attractive vehicle for laundering illicit gains because of the manner in which it appreciates in value, “cleans” large sums of money in a single transaction, and shields ill-gotten gains from market instability and exchange-rate fluctuations. For these reasons and others, drug traffickers, corrupt offcials, and other criminals can and have used real estate to conceal the existence and origins of their illicit funds.”

      “FinCEN’s analysis of BSA and GTO reported data, law enforcement information, and real estate deed records, as depicted by the case studies in this advisory, indicates that high-value residential real estate markets are vulnerable to penetration by foreign and domestic criminal organizations and corrupt actors, especially those misusing otherwise legitimate limited liability companies or other legal entities to shield their identities. In addition, when these transactions are conducted without any financing (i.e., “all-cash”), they can potentially avoid traditional anti-money laundering (AML) measures adopted by lending financial institutions, presenting increased risk.”

      “Money laundering is a crime orchestrated to conceal the source of illegal proceeds so that the money can be used without detection of its criminal source.”

      “Use of Shell Companies Decreases Transparency – Criminals launder money to obscure the illicit origin of their funds. To this end, money launderers can use a number of vehicles to reduce the transparency of their transactions. One such vehicle, highlighted in the below case study, is the use of shell companies. Shell companies are typically non-publicly traded corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), or trusts that have no physical presence beyond a mailing address and generate little to no independent economic value.Most shell companies are formed by individuals and businesses for legitimate purposes, such as to hold stock or assets of another business entity or to facilitate domestic and international currency trades, asset transfers, and corporate mergers. Shell companies can often be formed without disclosing the individuals that ultimately own or control them (i.e., their beneficial owners) and can be used to conduct financial transactions without disclosing their true beneficial owners’ involvement. Criminals abuse this anonymity to mask their identities, involvement in transactions, and origins of their wealth, hindering law enforcement efforts to identify individuals behind illicit activity.”

      “Criminals can use all-cash purchases to make payments in full for properties and evade scrutiny— on themselves and the origin of their wealth—that is regularly performed by financial institutions in transactions involving mortgages. All-cash transactions account for nearly one in four residential real estate purchases, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide, and are particularly exposed to abuse.”

      The entire FinCEN report can be read at this link —

      https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2017-08-22/Risk%20in%20Real%20Estate%20Advisory_FINAL%20508%20Tuesday%20%28002%29.pdf

      Here is how another Kaua`i resort development is soliciting these EB-5 investment loans to wealthy Foreign Nationals —

      http://www.sihl.in/pdf/hyatt-coconut-beach-resort-hawaii.pdf

      By May of 2016, funding for the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort being raised through the EB-5 Visa program was solicited to as many as 172 foreign investors, in exchange for Green Cards and a path to Citizenship for each $500,000 investor — $86 million total.

      As this 2015 column explains —

      “WHAT’S REALLY AT STAKE IN THE EB-5 INVESTOR VISA OVERHAUL: HONESTY”

      “Through the EB-5 visa program, wealthy foreigners can invest $500,000 to $1 million in development projects and in turn, receive green cards for themselves and family members if the investment can be shown to create 10 U.S. jobs. The program is now up for Congressional reauthorization.”

      “The ability to monetize a scarce public asset — access to the United States — has become a gravy train for developers seeking cheap loans, immigration attorneys, China-based migration agencies and federally-authorized investment packagers known as regional centers.”

      “The profits at stake prompt deceptive practices — both in marketing investments and claiming job creation — that distort the intent if not the letter of the law.”

      “But claiming that EB-5 investments create jobs at no expense to the taxpayer is bogus. It’s also why an expected compromise regarding reauthorization of EB-5 falls short, despite improvements to the program.”

      “The green card alchemizes profits. Think about it: As long they get green cards, the immigrant investors don’t really care about interest and will take a 1 percent return. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs getting the loan are eager to pay the regional center 5 to 8 percent as opposed to 12 percent they might have to pay on the open market.”

      “Yes, it’s unseemly that green cards can be acquired so cheaply. And I say cheaply, because remember, investors are not giving up $500,000; they’re just parking it for five years or so, and the major cost is foregone interest and fees.”

      “The Government Accountability Office this year concluded that the agency overseeing EB-5, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not validly analyze job creation. After all, projects financed through regional centers don’t require a headcount of employees. An economist’s report, which calculates not only direct jobs, but also indirect and induced jobs caused by spending, can suffice.”

      “One of the oddities about the EB-5 program is that the U.S. government is giving out the green cards, but the entrepreneur who puts together the investment gets the money. This scheme seems inefficient and open to corruption.”

      “EB-5 represents “corporate welfare” for certain businesses.”

      “In a modest reform, the new legislation mandates that one of the 10 required jobs be a direct job, validated with a head count.

      “So the EB-5 industry will still benefit from rules that allow them to credit immigrant investors for jobs created by the entire pot of money.”

      “In other words, the immigrant investors got credit for jobs financed by public subsidies and government-authorized tax-free bonds, funding that was already in place, not leveraged by the EB-5 investment.”

      https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/column-whats-really-at-stake-in-the-eb-5-investor-visa-overhaul-honesty

      We have to Wake Up to the reality that this is happening all over Hawai`i — not not only through the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers, but Everywhere!

      Please support the Hawaiians in their fight to protect their homelands from big developers who are using opaque foreign investment `loans’ to develop their lands and reroute Hawaii’s natural water systems.


  14. Fathom January 26, 2018 2:49 pm Reply

    You are absolutely right Kanaka maoli! And if more people learned the facts about Hawaiian history and culture, more people would begin to understand what has actually happened in Hawai`i and what is happening now.

    We must begin to reveal the truth about how these egregious behaviors by modern day Profiteers are continuing to have severe negative impacts on Hawaiian families and our sensitive ecosystems.

    On another matter concerning the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort development —

    THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY APPEAR!

    Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers have solicited investment loans of $500,000 each from as many as 172 wealthy Foreign Nationals, in exchange for automatic Green Cards and a direct path to U.S. Citizenship for these rich investors and each of their family members. This EB-5 Visas are often referred to as “Golden Visas’ for this reason.

    This Coco Palms Application, in the link below, shows how $86 million (2/3’s of the budget) for the 12,000 sq.’ Hyatt Resort was being raised through wealthy Foreign Nationals in exchange for Green Cards and a path to U.S. Citizenship for them and their family.

    These types of insured $500,000 ‘investment loans’ from wealthy foreign investors are happening all over Kaua`i, Hawai`i, and the United States of America —

    “The proposal identifies the new commercial enterprise (“NCE”) of the project as Lexden Coco Palms Loan Company, LLC, which was formed in the State of Delaware on January 31, 2014. The project is located at 4-947 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, on the island of Kauai in the State of Hawaii. 172 immigrant investors will subscribe to the NCE as limited partners in exchange for capital contributions of $500,000 each and an aggregate of $86 million. The NCE will loan the $86 million of EB-5 capital to a third-party entity, Coco Palms Resort. The EB-5 capital loan proceeds will be used to acquire and re-launch The Coco Palm Resort as the Coco Palms by Hyatt in Kauai.”

    http://www.cocopalmseb5.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Approval_Lexden_Hawaii.pdf

    The problem is, not even the U.S. Government is able to verify the true identities of these wealthy investors and their families, nor are they actually able to validate where this money comes from. That is why investors a National Security threat for us all. Here is a report from the United States Government Accountability Office —

    “The report concluded that because of difficulties ensuring the integrity of the Regional Center Program, USCIS was limited in its ability to prevent fraud or national security threats and could not demonstrate that the program was benefiting the U.S. economy and creating full-time employment as required by law.”

    “USCIS has identified fraud and national security risks in the EB-5 Program in various assessments it conducted over time and in collaboration with its interagency partners.”

    “Specifically, a senior FDNS official noted that while adjudication of petitions in the EB-5 Program, like other immigration programs, centers on the eligibility of the petitioner, the EB-5 Program also has an investment component that creates increased program complexity and the potential for fraud risks.”

    “However, according to USCIS officials, it can be difficult to verify the sources of immigrant investors’ funds and such verification difficulties could pose fraud risks to the program. For example, USCIS officials told us that some petitioners may have strong incentives to report inaccurate information about the source of their funds on their applications in instances when the funds come from illicit—and thus ineligible—sources, such as funds obtained through drug trade, human trafficking, or other criminal activities.”

    “USCIS officials said that IPO and FDNS did not have a means to verify self-reported immigrant financial information with many foreign banks. In addition, both USCIS and State officials noted that they did not have authority to verify banking information with many foreign countries. For example, State officials said that because the U.S. government lacks access to many foreign financial systems, there is no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners.”

    “Legitimacy of investment entity – The amount of investment required to participate in the EB-5 Program, coupled with the fact that EB-5 investors are making an investment in order to obtain an immigration benefit, can create fraud risks tied to unscrupulous regional center operators and intermediaries. According to SEC officials, they have identified instances of fraudulent investment schemes, including securities fraud, related to EB-5 investments.”

    https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/671940.pdf

    This ‘Advisory’ from the ‘U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’ (FinCEN) one of many reasons the Lexden-Coco Palms Loan Company’s statement about their EB-5 Visa program, which allows wealthy Foreign Nationals to receive an automatic ‘Green Card’ for investing in this Hyatt Resort development, concerns me so much —

    “Although FinCEN to date has focused on residential real estate, money laundering can also involve commercial real estate transactions.”

    “Real estate transactions and the real estate market have certain characteristics that make them vulnerable to abuse by illicit actors seeking to launder criminal proceeds. For example, many
    real estate transactions involve high-value assets, opaque entities, and processes that can limit transparency because of their complexity and diversity. In addition, the real estate market can be an attractive vehicle for laundering illicit gains because of the manner in which it appreciates in value, “cleans” large sums of money in a single transaction, and shields ill-gotten gains from market instability and exchange-rate fluctuations. For these reasons and others, drug traffickers, corrupt offcials, and other criminals can and have used real estate to conceal the existence and origins of their illicit funds.”

    “FinCEN’s analysis of BSA and GTO reported data, law enforcement information, and real estate deed records, as depicted by the case studies in this advisory, indicates that high-value residential real estate markets are vulnerable to penetration by foreign and domestic criminal organizations and corrupt actors, especially those misusing otherwise legitimate limited liability companies or other legal entities to shield their identities. In addition, when these transactions are conducted without any financing (i.e., “all-cash”), they can potentially avoid traditional anti-money laundering (AML) measures adopted by lending financial institutions, presenting increased risk.”

    “Money laundering is a crime orchestrated to conceal the source of illegal proceeds so that the money can be used without detection of its criminal source.”

    “Use of Shell Companies Decreases Transparency – Criminals launder money to obscure the illicit origin of their funds. To this end, money launderers can use a number of vehicles to reduce the transparency of their transactions. One such vehicle, highlighted in the below case study, is the use of shell companies. Shell companies are typically non-publicly traded corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), or trusts that have no physical presence beyond a mailing address and generate little to no independent economic value.Most shell companies are formed by individuals and businesses for legitimate purposes, such as to hold stock or assets of another business entity or to facilitate domestic and international currency trades, asset transfers, and corporate mergers. Shell companies can often be formed without disclosing the individuals that ultimately own or control them (i.e., their beneficial owners) and can be used to conduct financial transactions without disclosing their true beneficial owners’ involvement. Criminals abuse this anonymity to mask their identities, involvement in transactions, and origins of their wealth, hindering law enforcement efforts to identify individuals behind illicit activity.”

    “Criminals can use all-cash purchases to make payments in full for properties and evade scrutiny— on themselves and the origin of their wealth—that is regularly performed by financial institutions in transactions involving mortgages. All-cash transactions account for nearly one in four residential real estate purchases, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide, and are particularly exposed to abuse.”

    The entire FinCEN report can be read at this link —

    https://www.fincen.gov/sites/default/files/advisory/2017-08-22/Risk%20in%20Real%20Estate%20Advisory_FINAL%20508%20Tuesday%20%28002%29.pdf

    Here is how another Kaua`i resort development is soliciting these EB-5 investment loans to wealthy Foreign Nationals —

    http://www.sihl.in/pdf/hyatt-coconut-beach-resort-hawaii.pdf

    By May of 2016, funding for the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort being raised through the EB-5 Visa program was solicited to as many as 172 foreign investors, in exchange for Green Cards and a path to Citizenship for each $500,000 investor — $86 million total.

    As this 2015 column explains —

    “WHAT’S REALLY AT STAKE IN THE EB-5 INVESTOR VISA OVERHAUL: HONESTY”

    “Through the EB-5 visa program, wealthy foreigners can invest $500,000 to $1 million in development projects and in turn, receive green cards for themselves and family members if the investment can be shown to create 10 U.S. jobs. The program is now up for Congressional reauthorization.”

    “The ability to monetize a scarce public asset — access to the United States — has become a gravy train for developers seeking cheap loans, immigration attorneys, China-based migration agencies and federally-authorized investment packagers known as regional centers.”

    “The profits at stake prompt deceptive practices — both in marketing investments and claiming job creation — that distort the intent if not the letter of the law.”

    “But claiming that EB-5 investments create jobs at no expense to the taxpayer is bogus. It’s also why an expected compromise regarding reauthorization of EB-5 falls short, despite improvements to the program.”

    “The green card alchemizes profits. Think about it: As long they get green cards, the immigrant investors don’t really care about interest and will take a 1 percent return. Meanwhile, the entrepreneurs getting the loan are eager to pay the regional center 5 to 8 percent as opposed to 12 percent they might have to pay on the open market.”

    “Yes, it’s unseemly that green cards can be acquired so cheaply. And I say cheaply, because remember, investors are not giving up $500,000; they’re just parking it for five years or so, and the major cost is foregone interest and fees.”

    “The Government Accountability Office this year concluded that the agency overseeing EB-5, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not validly analyze job creation. After all, projects financed through regional centers don’t require a headcount of employees. An economist’s report, which calculates not only direct jobs, but also indirect and induced jobs caused by spending, can suffice.”

    “One of the oddities about the EB-5 program is that the U.S. government is giving out the green cards, but the entrepreneur who puts together the investment gets the money. This scheme seems inefficient and open to corruption.”

    “EB-5 represents “corporate welfare” for certain businesses.”

    “In a modest reform, the new legislation mandates that one of the 10 required jobs be a direct job, validated with a head count.

    “So the EB-5 industry will still benefit from rules that allow them to credit immigrant investors for jobs created by the entire pot of money.”

    “In other words, the immigrant investors got credit for jobs financed by public subsidies and government-authorized tax-free bonds, funding that was already in place, not leveraged by the EB-5 investment.”

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/column-whats-really-at-stake-in-the-eb-5-investor-visa-overhaul-honesty

    We have to Wake Up to the reality that this is happening all over Hawai`i — not not only through the Coco Palms Hyatt Resort developers, but Everywhere!

    Please support the Hawaiians in their fight to protect their homelands from big developers who are using opaque foreign investment `loans’ to develop their lands and reroute Hawaii’s natural water systems.


  15. Fathom January 30, 2018 1:19 pm Reply

    Below are excerpts of “Native Hawaiians and U.S. Law” by Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie —

    “Native Hawaiian participants in the 1978 Constitutional Convention saw the convention as an opportunity to further the goal of self-determination. Their vision was to establish a governing entity and to reaffirm the state’s obligation with regard to the public land trust, the former Government and Crown Lands of the Hawaiian Kingdom. A substantial portion of these lands had been transferred to the state in the 1959 Admission Act and impressed with ve trust purposes, including the “betterment of conditions of native Hawaiians”

    “In November 1993, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed into law, a joint resolution apologizing to the Native Hawaiian people for U.S. participation in the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Although styled as a “joint resolution,” the Apology Resolution was enacted as a public law and signed by the president. Consequently, it is a statute of the United States and has the same effect as other laws enacted by Congress.”

    “Congress, in a section of the 2004 appropriations act that was identical to a provision in the pending federal recognition bill at the time, established the Office of Native Hawaiian Relations (ONHR). ONHR, housed in the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, is charged with “continu[ing] the process of reconciliation with . . . the Native Hawaiian people[.]” e purpose of ONHR is to e ectuate and implement the “special legal relationship” between the Native Hawaiian people and the United States; continue the process of reconciliation with the Native Hawaiian people; and fully integrate the principle and practice of meaningful, regular, and appropriate consultation with the Native Hawaiian people by assuring timely noti cation of and prior consultation with the Native Hawaiian people before any federal agency takes any actions that may have the potential to significantly affect Native Hawaiian resources, rights, or lands.”

    “The Apology Resolution explicitly acknowledged the “special relationship” that exists between the United States and the Native Hawaiian people. Congress confirmed in the Apology Resolution that Native Hawaiians are an “indigenous people,” a key characterization that establishes that a political relationship, rather than one based on race, exists between the Native Hawaiian people and the United States government. In the resolution, Congress stated that the Hawaiian people had “never directly relinquished their claims to their inherent sovereignty as a people,” and it apologized for the participation of agents and citizens of the United States in the overthrow and “the deprivation of the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination.” The right to self-determination is the most basic of human rights under federal and international law, and efforts to facilitate the exercise of this right are mandated by fundamental human rights principles.”

    “Congress also acknowledged in the resolution that the Republic of Hawai‘i had ceded 1,800,000 acres of Crown Lands, Government Lands, and public lands of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i without the consent of or compensation to the Native Hawaiian people or their sovereign government; that the Native Hawaiian people had never directly relinquished their claims over their national lands to the United States; and that the overthrow had been illegal.”

    This entire document can be read at the following link —

    http://www.naiaupuni.org/docs/pres/mm/Ch.%205%20NHwns.%20&%20U.S.%20Law%20excerpt.pdf


  16. Amelia Gora February 1, 2018 8:15 pm Reply

    There was No Annexation see: http://blog.hawaii.edu/aplpj/files/2015/09/APLPJ_16_2_Chang.pdf
    U.S. President Cleveland Gave Hawaii Back to Queen Liliuokalani Twice (2x) in 1894 and 1897 see: http://iolani-theroyalhawk.blogspot.com/2017/11/iolani-royal-hawk-vol-vi-no-678-special.html
    The Liliuokalani Trust of 1909 is based on Fraud and am waiting for the Attorney General/U.S. to arrest the Trustees of both the Liliuokalani Trust and the Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estates. See: http://iolani-theroyalhawk.blogspot.com/2018/01/vol-vi-no-684-wednesday-weekly-january.html Research has taken more than 40 years to uncover the intense amount of frauds, piracies, racketeering, etc. Article XIV of 1849/1850 Treaty of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the U.S. is applicable in prosecuting wrongdoers.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.