Hawaii Begins To Oust $10B Trustees
HONOLULU (AP) _ At least two of the trustees managing a Hawaiian princess’ $10 billion estate must be replaced immediately because their self-serving misbehavior cost ``an entire generation″ of Hawaiian children their education, prosecutors said Monday.
That was the opening salvo in the state’s petition to remove Henry Peters and Richard ``Dickie″ Wong, two trustees of the Bishop Estate, one of the world’s richest trusts.
Since 1997, Peters, Wong and fellow trustees Gerard Jervis, Lokelani Lindsey and Oswald Stender have sbeen involved in a melodrama of boardroom intrigue, questionable investments, IRS audits and criminal investigations.
Several petitions seeking their collective and individual removals are working through the courts.
On Monday, Deputy Attorney General Hugh Jones told a Probate Court judge that Peters and Wong violated the dictates of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s 1884 will, creating ``nothing less than an educational tragedy″ for children of Hawaiian ancestry.
Specifically, the state accuses trustees of investing $350 million in income instead of following the will’s direction and spending it on the Kamehameha Schools, located on a 600-acre campus overlooking Honolulu.
``An entire generation of children were denied an education that could have been provided from the princess’ legacy,″ Jones told Probate Judge Colleen Hirai at the start of the expected five-week proceeding.
But Peters’ attorney, Renee Yuen, countered that the princess would look down at Peters ``and say `Job well done. You have provided for the needs of Hawaii’s children.‴
Peters has been indicted for theft for allegedly receiving a $192,500 kickback in a land deal involving Wong’s brother-in-law. Wong is being investigated in the same scheme.
Bronster’s original petition also sought the interim removal of trustees Lokelani Lindsey and Gerard Jervis, but a judge last week ruled that Lindsey’s removal already is being considered in a lawsuit filed by Jervis and Stender.