An accountant has been accused of conspiring with alleged racketeering kingpin Michael J. Miske Jr. to defraud the government by preparing and filing false tax returns, and aiding in bank fraud by advising the Honolulu business owner on false documents to prepare in order to deceive lenders in obtaining bank loans.
Miske and 10 co-defendants were named in a 22-count indictment in July 2020 that included a variety of offenses, ranging from drug trafficking and weapons offenses, to armed robbery, kidnapping and murder for hire.
The charges filed last week against Tricia Ann Castro, a certified public accountant, were the first to target a licensed professional alleged to have aided Miske in concealing his alleged criminal activities, which have become known as the “Miske Enterprise.”
Federal prosecutors allege that Castro conspired with Miske, along with two other individuals identified only by their initials, “D.F.M” and “J.Y.,” and others “known and unknown,” to prepare false tax returns covering up hidden income over at least an eight-year period, from 2010 through about October 2018.
“As the CPA … Castro guided the preparation of false tax returns, signed the false tax returns, and submitted them to the IRS,” the information alleges. “The defendant and her coconspirators knew that the tax returns were fraudulent because the returns failed to report income from companies which the co-conspirators owned or operated.”
The charges were contained in an “information” filed Thursday in Honolulu’s U.S. District Court. Charges filed that way do not require a grand jury action and often precede a plea agreement between the defendant and prosecutors.
Castro was first licensed as a CPA in October 2000. Her license is still listed as “current, valid & in good standing” in the state’s Professioal Vocational Licensing online database.
In one April 2017 text message exchange cited by prosecutors, D.F.M. told Castro that Miske’s company, Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, “would be paying an employee off the books.” Castro responded by stating: “Uh okay we can make him a(n) inactive employee. Thanks.”
The person prosecutors refer to as D.F.M. was not identified. However, Delia-Anne Fabro, also known as Delia-Ann Fabro Miske, is the widow of Miske’s son, Caleb, who died in March 2016 from injuries sustained in a traffic accident less than four months earlier.
Over several years, during a period in which Michael Miske knew he was a subject of an ongoing federal investigation, he removed his name from the officer lists of companies he controlled by replacing himself with Fabro in required filings with the state Business Registration Division. Prosecutors have alleged this was part of an attempt to conceal his ownership of the network of businesses in order to hinder the federal investigation, an allegation Miske’s attorneys have denied.
Web Of Companies
Among the companies shifted into Delia-Ann’s name were Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control, which allegedly provided a home base for Miske’s criminal enterprise; Kamaaina Plumbing; Hawaii Partners LLC, which held title to the Boston Whaler, “Painkiller,” allegedly used in the 2016 kidnapping and murder of Jonathan Fraser, who had survived the accident that eventually took Caleb Miske’s life; and Kamaaina Holdings LLC, which owned and operated a longline fishing vessel for a decade before it was seized by the government, then sold earlier this year by court order.
Likewise, although “J.Y.” is not identified in the information, Jason Yokoyama was a longtime business associate of Miske. Honolulu Liquor Commission records identified Yokoyama as the majority 70% owner of Leverage Inc., which owned and operated the M Nightclub in downtown Honolulu. Miske, a former felon, was limited by law to a 20% share, although he appears to have had full control of the business.
M Nightclub was closed by the Liquor Commission in late 2016, but reopened as the Encore Nightclub, which prosecutors have alleged was also controlled by Miske.
Court records show that before forming Leverage Inc. and opening M Nightclub, Yokoyama appeared at a 2011 court hearing on behalf of Michael Miske, and identified himself to the court as “operations manager for Kamaaina Termite and Pest Control.”
In the document containing the charges against Castro, prosecutors added two companies to the already long list of those allegedly controlled by Miske as “de facto owner.”
One of the new companies, Da Poke Shack Honolulu LLC, was registered to do business on July 30, 2015, business registration records show. Its initial registration listed Yokoyama as both a member and agent for the newly formed LLC, which used the same Queen Street address as Kamaaina Termite and other Miske companies.
Da Poke Shack, which had a contract to operate a food truck outside the Home Depot store in Iwilei, sold poke bowls and plate lunches six days a week. The business, and its fully equipped mobile kitchen, was listed for sale the following year, Pacific Business News reported at the time. There is no indication the company continued under new ownership, and its business registration was canceled in June 2019.
A separate business, Da Poke Shack Haleiwa LLC, filed its business registration with the state on April 6, 2015, and listed Wayne Miller as its sole officer.
Miller pleaded guilty in December 2020 to being a part of Miske’s racketeering conspiracy. As part of a plea deal, he admitted agreeing to assist Miske in the kidnapping and murder of Fraser, although Miller said he hoped Miske would change his mind and not follow through on the plan.
Miller also disclosed Miske had instructed him to arrange for the murders of five other people, although none was killed. Miller also admitted taking part in an attempted drug buy in California in 2014 that was financed with $400,000 allegedly put up by Miske.
Another company prosecutors now list among those under Miske’s de facto ownership is Laura Ann Fisheries LLC.
State business registration records show Laura Ann Fisheries was registered in August 2014 by Mike Miske, Jon Dahl and Jill Perry. The company was formed to take possession of and operate another tuna longliner, the 69-foot Fishing Vessel Laura Ann, and shared the same Queen Street business address as Miske’s Kamaaina Termite.
Miske was later dropped from the list of LLC members, and the company’s business address was moved to Perry’s residence in Kuliouou. It isn’t clear whether prosecutors believe Miske’s de facto ownership of the company continued after his name was dropped.
Perry is the wife of Bruce Perry, a former stevedore who was tried on assault charges in the 1990s stemming from the beating of a co-worker while working on the Matson docks. Perry faced two trials, and neither jury was able to reach a verdict. A possible third trial was blocked as unfair to the defendant.
In 2009, Miske and Dahl registered another company, Kamaaina Rolloffs LLC, also using the address of the Kamaaina Termite office. There is no indication the company ever actually did any business, and it was terminated in 2012, state business records show.
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Ian Lind is an award-winning investigative reporter and columnist who has been blogging daily for more than 20 years. He has also worked as a newsletter publisher, public interest advocate and lobbyist for Common Cause in Hawaii, peace educator, and legislative staffer. Lind is a lifelong resident of the islands. Read his blog here. Opinions are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Civil Beat's views.