Former Police Commissioner Chiba pleads guilty to gambling

LIHUE — A Department of Corrections program manager and former Kauai Police Commissioner pleaded guilty to federal gambling charges on Monday in U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii.

Bradley Ichiro Chiba, 37, of Lihue, pleaded guilty to running a gambling operation and to filing a false income tax return at his arraignment hearing in federal court, and waived his right to trial before Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi.

“He didn’t want to fight it,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry L. Butrick of the Special Crimes Section. “It was a pretty straight forward case.”

Chiba pleaded guilty to conducting, financing, managing, supervising, directing and owning all or part of an illegal gambling business. In this instance, the offense was a gambling bookmaking business involving sports betting. It involved eight others for a period in excess of 30 days and had a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.

Chiba also pleaded guilty to filing a false 2012 federal income tax return. The Form 1040 stated that Chiba’s adjusted gross income was $99,880, when in fact it was substantially.

As part of the plea, Chiba agrees that upon conviction of the offense he will forfeit any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense.

Butrick said that seized gambling proceeds totaled $29,435.04, which includes $15,886 in U.S. currency seized from Chiba’s residence on Feb. 3, along with a $13,549.04 cashier’s check seized on Feb. 4 from Chiba’s bank account. He also agrees to pay $11,096 in restitution to the IRS for his 2012 income tax return.

Butrick said he presented in court that federal law was broken after an investigation into bookmaking records for a seven-day period showed that five bets and more than $2,500 were recorded. 

The maximum possible sentence for the gambling charge is up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, Butrick said. He also faces up to three years supervised release following prison.

Chiba faces a maximum possible three-year prison term and a $250,00 fine along with supervised release in the tax case, he added.

“It is up to court if the sentences will run concurrent,” Butrick said. “The court is not bound to the plea agreement.”

Chiba appeared in court voluntarily. He was released on bail following his arrest on the charges in February.

A pre-sentence report will be completed to assist the court at sentencing hearing on Oct. 2.

Chiba’s attorney Michael Green could not be reached for comment.

With the announcement of the federal investigation regarding gambling allegations in February, Chiba resigned his position as a Kauai Police Commissioner. He remains employed with the state Department of Public Safety as manager of the Intake Service Center at Kauai Community Correctional Center “pending the outcome of investigations and the final disposition,” said DPS Public Information Officer Toni Schwartz.

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