Property owner of Waimanalo puppy mill charged with tax evasion

A state Tax Department investigation has resulted in tax evasion charges against Sheryl Luke-Kalani, who owned the property where a puppy mill in Waimanalo was located.

Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro said the investigation was initiated at the request of the prosecutor’s office following the 2011 shutdown of the puppy mill.

Luke-Kalani was arraigned Monday morning on six felony counts of evading state general excise taxes from 2007 to 2012 and six misdemeanor counts of failing to obtain a general excise tax license, provide the state with information about her business, or file a tax return during the same period.

Tax evasion is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Trial was set for the week of June 22, 2015.

Luke-Kalani’s father, Vernon Luke, was indicted by a grand jury on the same charges in March. He also is scheduled to stand trial in June.

Luke was president and treasurer of Bradley International Inc, which operated the puppy mill. Besides owning the property, Luke-Kalani owned a pet store that sold dogs.

In December 2011, Bradley International pleaded no contest to 153 counts of second-degree animal cruelty, one for each dog seized by the Hawaiian Humane Society from the Waimanalo property.

A judge fined the corporation $306,000 (the maximum $2,000 for each dog) and ordered it to pay $371,000 in restitution to the Hawaiian Humane Society for care of the animals and $8,400 in court fees.

Luke dissolved the corporation, leaving it with no assets, and none of the court-ordered payments were made.

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