IRS shares forfeiture funds

Kaua’i Police Department Chief K.C. Lum and Kaua’i Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste accepted a check for $93,471 from officials with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, for KPD officers’ assistance on a local IRS investigation.

The check-presentation ceremony took place Thursday at the Kaua’i Police Department, said Mary Daubert, Kaua’i County public information officer.

The presentation was attended by IRS-CID officials from the Los Angeles Field Office, where the case originated, and from the Portland, Ore., Field Office, which covers Hawai’i.

Douglas A. Bricker, special agent in charge of the Portland office, thanked KPD officers for their support and professionalism in the investigation, which resulted in the payment of $3.5 million by the defendants to settle the asset-forfeiture action.

Bricker stated that “IRS special agents are committed to taking the profit out of crime. We hope the funds that the Kaua’i Police Department is receiving today will help its officers in their police work, and we look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Lum said he also looks forward to working with the IRS agents in the future. He also pointed out that it is not the first time KPD and IRS officials have teamed up.

In one case, Lum said KPD leaders received forfeiture funds that topped $450,000.

“I cannot say how much we appreciate the IRS, for their assisting us, or we assisting them, in these type of cases,” he said.

The money will help KPD officers in buying equipment, and paying for other resources to do their work, said Lum.

He thanked all the KPD officers who were involved, and praised former KPD Officer Shawn Smith for his “diligent work in the investigation in the case.”

KPD Deputy Chief Ron Venneman said the case involved land fraud, and some of the suspects and victims lived on Kaua’i. The case involved victims and suspects on the Mainland as well, and developed into a multi-million-dollar fraud case, Venneman said.

Smith investigated the case when he was a patrol officer, according to Venneman.

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