Business/In Brief • Aug. 9, 2013

Matson reports strong earnings

HONOLULU – The state’s largest ocean transportation company reported strong second-quarter profits.

Matson Inc. reported that robust Hawaii shipments helped to more than double earnings.

Matson President and CEO Matt Cox, in a conference call with reporters, said Hawaii continues to see high levels of visitor arrivals that drive down unemployment. He said that that in turn led to more goods shipped from the Mainland.

He also noted auto shipments and construction activity.

Matson reported second-quarter net income of $20.1 million, or 43 cents a share.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that income fell just short of analysts’ forecast of 44 cents a share.

Matson a year ago earned $7.8 million, or 18 cents a share, as it ran up $5.8 million in separation costs when it split from Alexander & Baldwin Inc.


‘Fittest CEO’ said to be a swindler

HONOLULU – Hawaii’s securities commissioner alleges that a Honolulu businessman who once touted himself as “Hawaii’s Fittest CEO” swindled a quarter of a million dollars from three investors.

Hawaii Commissioner of Securities Tung Chan said Wednesday that David Low told the investors their money would be invested in an annuity, individual retirement account or “pooled” for their future use and benefit.

But the commissioner said Low never invested the money for the clients. She said Low instead bought securities for himself and used the money for payments to Mercedes-Benz, groceries, his gym membership and other expenses.

KITV reported that Low was arrested Tuesday and charged with with five felony theft counts. He’ll be arraigned Monday.

A voice mail message left for Low at his company, Hawaii Capital Management, was not immediately returned.


Identify thief gets 20 years in prison

HONOLULU – A 22-year-old woman who pleaded no contest to identity theft and theft has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Falysha Pierre-Lys was sentenced Tuesday to the mandatory term by Circuit Judge Randal K.O. Lee.

State law allows shorter terms for defendants who commit identity theft when 21 or younger, but Lee says Pierre-Lys was too sophisticated and stole too much to qualify for the eight-year sentence she requested.

Prosecutors says Pierre-Lys used a counterfeit credit card to make purchases exceeding $5,000 at stores in Waikiki and Ala Moana on the same day in April 2012 and later bought a $10,000 watch.

Prosecutors say she and friends attempted transactions of $329,449 at luxury retail stores over five days and completed $179,676 in transactions.