BY JIM DOOLEY – After Hawaii Reporter published news stories about local businessman Daniel Doi’s legal problems with the state, Doi created his own web site, called Hawaii Reported, that claims he is the victim of a political vendetta orchestrated by state officials.
The Attorney General’s office in November obtained a Circuit Court injunction against Doi for what Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito called Doi’s “willful abuse of Hawaii’s consumers.”
Ito called Doi a “predator” who primarily targeted elderly consumers by selling them “expensive products that were inappropriate to their needs.”
After a Washington D.C woman complained to Hawaii Reporter and law enforcement authorities about Doi’s attempts to sell financial services to an elderly Hawaii relative, Dep. Attorney General C Bryan Fitgerald said in early September that his office would seek an injunction against Doi.
State regulators first sued Doi over his business activities in 2010.
On November 9, Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall said Doi’s activities could “irreparably harm” harm consumers, particularly elderly customers.
She issued a written preliminary injunction against him November 19.
Crandall’s order barred Doi and various companies from providing prepaid legal services, reverse mortgages, or other types of financial planning.
“Mr. Doi’s actions were blatant and repeated,” Insurance Commissioner Ito said in a Nov. 30 news release.
“The Insurance Division of DCCA (Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs) will not allow this type of willful abuse of Hawaii’s consumers to go unchallenged,” Ito said.
Doi registered the Hawaii Reported domain name and began blogging on the site December 2 with a posting titled “Hawaii AG and Commerce Department use local newspaper to defame me.”
He said the Honolulu Star Advertiser daily newspaper, which published a Dec. 1 news story based on the news release, “is using tactics even a used car salesman wouldn’t use.”
The post said the Attorney General’s office “could not bring a single consumer in to testify and instead brought in state consumer officials and a disgruntled former employee.”
In a later posting, Doi compared himself to Honolulu mayoral candidate Ben Cayetano, who filed a defamation suit against the sponsors of political ads that questioned Cayetano’s honesty.
“I know what Cayetano is going through. Its about politics,” Doi wrote. “When the Star Advertiser spead lies about me in December 2012 article I also believe its politically motivated by the Insurance Commissioner Gordon Ito,” Doi wrote Dec. 5.
“I am trying to take the high road also but soon I might have to file a defamation suit against the DCCA (state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs) and Star Advertiser,” Doi wrote.
Hawaii Reporter has notified Doi that his use of the Hawaii Reported domain name may violate federal trademark protection and “anti-cybersquatting” laws.
Federal law prohibits use of a domain name that is “likely to cause confusion or deceive the public with a name that is confusingly similar to, or dilutive of a trademark.”
Hawaii Reporter asked Doi to cease use of the Hawaii Reported domain name within 10 days.