Thursday May 8,2014 : RESTAURANTEUR PUNISHED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
Hawaiian businessman gets six months in jail.
Oahu restaurant owner Thomas Ky was sentenced to six months in jail Wednesday on a money laundering charge involving $1.3 million, allegedly from an unidentified but illegal online gambling enterprise.
Exactly how Ky committed the offence is unclear – court documents show only that he became involved when he assisted former employees embroiled in the gambling scheme who asked for help between 2009 and 2012.
Nevertheless, Ky admitted guilt in a plea bargain that included disgorgement of $1.3 million in illegal funds, a $50,000 fine and three years of supervised release following his mandatory six months in jail.
Sentencing Ky, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson said the defendant's lack of previous criminal history, his personal generosity and the lengths to which he went to express his shame all weighed in his favour. Many people wrote letters to the court on Ky's behalf.
Ky asked for forgiveness and said he would accept the judgment with respect. He admitted to being part of a larger Internet gambling operation, with more than 20 people pleading guilty, including head bookie Felix Gee Won Tom.
"What I did was totally unacceptable and wrongful, and I apologize for it," Ky said. "Because of this lesson I have to watch who I help. If I don't know any better, I should ask my lawyers."