BY JIM DOOLEY – Federal prosecutors have added an income tax evasion charge to the criminal case against former Honolulu Police Major Carlton Nishimura.

Nishimura pleaded not guilty to the latest charge today and his October trial date is unchanged.

Nishimura was first indicted more than a year ago on public corruption and obstruction of justice charges related to alleged extortion of illegal game room operators in 2004-2006, when he was a captain with HPD.

Federal authorities later re-indicted him after FBI agents raided Nishimura’s home and seized what they said was a stash of illegal methamphetamine.

Now Nishimura has been indicted a third time.

The new count alleges that Nishimura filed a false 2005 income tax return which reported that his income was $79,202.

Nishimura’s income was “substantially greater than that,” the indictment alleged.

The amount of unreported income is unspecified in the indictment. A continuing count of the indictment alleges that Nishimura extorted money from an illegal game room operator between 2004 and 2006.

Nishimura’s sometime girlfriend, Doni Mei Imose, is cooperating with prosecutors and has pleaded guilty in a separate methamphetamine trafficking case in federal court.

Nishimura today lost a request to reduce a $450 monthly fee he must pay to the federal court clerk while he is on bail awaiting trial.

His attorney, U.S. Public Defender Peter Wolfe, argued for the reduction because Nishimura must pay his daughter’s student loan expenses and owes his ex-wife $500 in monthly support payments.

Since his retirement from the police force last year, Nishimura’s monthly expenses have increased because he lost the car allowance HPD pays to cover gas and insurance for personal vehicles which many officers use while on duty, Wolfe argued.

The U.S. Attorney’s office argued that Nishimura can use his police pension to pay his expenses and the monthly court fee.

Nishimura “has access to both a retirement fund of $380,000 and a deferred compensation fund of $16,000,” prosecutors argued.

U.S. Magistrate-Judge Richard Puglisi refused Nishimura’s motion to lessen the $450 monthly assessment. Puglisi said some of Nishimura’s expenditures, reported to him in a sealed court document, “have caused me heartburn.”

Puglisi did not say what those expenditures were.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com