Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on iLind, Ian Lind’s blog. It is reproduced here with permission.
A federal judge has issued an order ordering the sale of the 90-foot longline fishing vessel “Rachel”, a lesser-known asset owned by Michael J. Miske Jr., the accused leader of a criminal gang now facing criminal charges. Federal criminal charges ranging from kidnapping and murder for hire to bank fraud.
Miske, best known as the owner and operator of the highly visible Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control Inc., and as the former manager and co-owner of the popular M nightclub in Honolulu’s Restaurant Row, owned Rachel through a another of its companies, Kamaaina Holdings LLC, which appears to have been formed a decade ago specifically to hold title to the ship.
The sale is the result of an agreement between federal prosecutors, Miske, and Delia-Anne Fabro, identified as the authorized representative of Kamaaina Holdings LLC.
Fabro was married to Miske’s late son Caleb, who died in March 2016 following a serious car accident several months earlier. Miske apparently transferred control of Kamaaina Holdings and most of his other companies to Fabro several years ago as the criminal investigation against him intensified, but the government alleges that Miske remained de facto owner of the companies, which prosecutors say were used as part of his overall criminal investigation. racketeering plot.
According to the order, approved on February 11, 2021 by trial judge Kenneth Mansfield:
The Government, Kama’aina Holdings LLC and the Defendant Miske agree, and the Court finds, that the value of the vessel in question will decline over time due to the deterioration inherent in its non-use and the accumulation of storage costs. and other expenses disproportionate to its fair market value. This matter is not scheduled for trial until September 13, 2021. A third party has made a cash offer of $ 700,000.00 for the subject vessel. The government, Kama’aina Holdings LLC and the defendant Miske agree that the offer is for market value and should be accepted, and the subject vessel sold at this time.
The buyer is not identified in the court order or in the prosecutors’ initial request. The order simply specifies that the identity of the buyer is known to the parties.
The amount paid by the buyer will not go to Miske. The ordinance specifies that the net proceeds of the sale must be deposited and kept in the seized assets deposit fund of the Department of Justice after deduction of the balance of several thousand dollars owed to the State for the mooring costs of the port, a “search fee” of $ 14,000 to the former vessel captain for identifying the purchaser, and a final $ 944.67 owed to him by Kamaaina Holdings for his services as captain. If Miske is convicted, then the funds will be confiscated for the benefit of the government.
Prior to the indictment and Miske’s arrest, Kamaaina Holdings was a member of the Hawaii Longline Association, an industry group representing those involved in longline fishing, according to a list of association members submitted to the State Ethics Commission in connection with a disclosure of expenses for the purpose of lobbying.
The ship Rachel has been the subject of a sealed prohibition order since July 2020 which prohibits it from leaving the port of Honolulu, where it is moored at Pier 12 along the Nimitz Highway near the intersection with the ‘avenue Nuuanu. Details of the sealed order were confidential and only became known to the public when prosecutors described its terms in their request for an order ordering the sale of the vessel.
Court records show that the sealed restraining order was approved on July 13, 2020, two days before federal agents dispersed across Oahu and, in a series of raids, arrested Miske and the Most of his co-defendants shut down his businesses and seize the business files. and other evidence, and has been in effect since then. The order identified the vessel as subject to confiscation because it was allegedly purchased with proceeds “obtained directly or indirectly from racketeering activities,” according to the latest court order approving the sale.
In addition to the vessel itself, the government is also said to have taken control of Rachel’s Limited Hawaiian Longline Entry Permit, which allows the use of longlines to fish for deep-sea species in the exclusive economic zone around Hawaii, as well as in Guam, in the northern Mariana Islands and parts of the Pacific, and to land or tranship longline catches in Hawaii or in the EEZ around Hawaii. Although transferable, the government considers the permit to be an asset subject to confiscation.
The court order does not say whether the Rachel’s sale includes her limited entry permit to Hawaii.
The Rachel was built in 1997 by Rodriguez Boat Builders Inc. in Coden, Alabama, and registered in the Port of Seattle. At 90 feet in length, the steel-hulled vessel weighs 60 net tons and carries a crew of seven.
In December 2010, Kamaaina Holdings LLC purchased the vessel from Pelagic Fisheries Inc., a company registered in Washington State, and one of its officers, Clint Funderburg, a prominent fisherman from Oregon. The purchase price has not been communicated.
Kamaaina Holdings LLC filed its Articles of Association and registered with the State Enterprise Registration Division on December 7, 2010, six days after the date of the deed of sale documenting the transfer of ownership of the vessel to Kamaaina Holdings, according to the records of the National Center for Documentation of Ships. The company initially listed only one controlling member – Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, which in turn was fully controlled by Miske.
In January 2011, just a month after Kamaaina Holdings registered with the State of Hawaii, Miske submitted documents adding Clint Funderburg as the second member of the company. Funderburg was listed as a member of the society until August 2014, according to state records.
There were rumors that the Rachel, which regularly fished the Pacific from the west coast of the United States and Mexico to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, with stops in Hawaii, could have been used by the Miske’s criminal group for transporting illegal drugs to and from Hawaii. However, none of the drug-related charges in Miske’s indictment and 10 co-defendants on 22 counts have yet included a reference to the use of the vessel.
In August 2014, Miske was one of three members who registered a new company, Laura Ann Fisheries LLC, to take over and operate another tuna longliner, the F / V Laura Ann. The company was initially registered using the same Queen Street address as Kamaaina Termite, Kamaaina Holdings and other companies controlled by Miske. The company was originally organized by Jon Dahl, Mike Miske and Jill Perry.
The following year, Miske was removed from the LLC’s membership list and the company’s business address moved to Perry’s residence in Kuliouou.
Dahl and Perry had gone into business together a decade earlier. State business records show the two were members of Transpac Freight LLC, which registered to do business in March 2003. The business was short-lived and administratively closed in December 2006. Perry is the wife of Bruce Perry, a former longshoreman who was the subject of a high-profile assault trial in the 1990s following the beating of a co-worker while working on the Matson docks.
Dahl and Miske also knew each other. Dahl is the owner of Hawaii Film Trucks & Equipment LLC, which provides transportation and rental of equipment for movies shot in Hawaii, while Miske is said to have been a Teamster driver during film productions. In 2009, Miske and Dahl teamed up to register another new company, Kamaaina Rolloffs LLC, also using the office address of Kamaaina Termite. There is no indication that the company actually did business, and it was shut down in 2012, according to state business records.
In May 2011, Miske’s Kamaaina Termite granted a mortgage loan of $ 550,000 to Dahl to purchase a home in Hawaii Kai, according to mortgage documents filed with the Bureau of Conveyances. The loan was apparently repaid within months and a debt release was filed in October 2011.