Bad Company: The final days of Baron Dorcy, Maui Millionaire
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"The Man" Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken
Dorcy’s crew understood the Rupert reference to mean Rupert Murdoch. “Henry Rice” was shaping up to be a real name dropper. Dorcy came to believe that “Rice’s” identity as a rancher and retired banker were, as incredible as it sounded, merely cover for the secret work he did for the U.S. State Department and the CIA. “Rice” was regularly jetting off to secret meetings with major figures on the world stage, offering his counsel to General David Petraeus, or negotiating the resignation of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Not only did this “Henry Rice” want to serve on Dorcy’s koa tree foundation, he wanted to broaden its scope, and he pledged to donate hundreds of acres of his own ranch to the cause. But, because of the sensitive nature of his work, his name could not be used in connection with the foundation. In fact, Dorcy would have to stop using his name altogether. “Henry Rice” was a shameless name dropper, but the one name he wanted dropped from the conversation entirely was Henry Rice’s. So Dorcy came up with a code name: “The Man.” He understood The Man’s need for secrecy. The only problem was, he was terrible at keeping secrets.
In the mornings, Dorcy regularly smoked pot, then called friends on the phone, often talking until lunch. In one conversation after another, from December 2010 into 2011, he chatted about The Man and his life of intrigue, sometimes divulging that The Man was Henry Rice, and regularly pointing out that nobody was supposed to know any of this. He also revealed that he and The Man were creating a foundation that, although he couldn’t yet divulge the detail, would “change the world.”
Throughout this period, friends noticed that Dorcy wasn’t his usual articulate self. John M. McManus, for instance, an old friend who had lunch with Dorcy in Honolulu near the end of 2010, said Dorcy was “hazy, weak and in an obvious deteriorating state.” McManus never saw Dorcy again after that luncheon, but the two talked on the phone. “He would call me, rambling and incoherent,” McManus said. It didn’t help that Dorcy’s budding relationship with The Man was sounding crazy even if Dorcy wasn’t rambling incoherently. Dorcy told another old friend, Judith Godshall, that The Man had given him a $13,000 Rolex watch, and that The Man was going to pay off the $3 million mortgage on Dorcy’s home. In turn, Dorcy was going to give The Man a couple of his classic cars, including a 1932 Auburn, worth a few hundred thousand dollars. When Godshall asked Dorcy why The Man would do these nice things for him, he replied: “I don’t know. He just likes me, I guess.”
After several aborted appointments, cancelled by The Man at the last minute, he and Dorcy finally met in December 2010—the first of what would become a series of meetings, which often involved Dorcy signing stacks of documents. Dorcy was elated by these get-togethers, but they were raising eyebrows among outside observers. Dorcy told friends he had to meet The Man in a secret location and, for security, had to travel blindfolded and through alleyways to get there. With Dorcy’s new tendency toward incoherent rambling, these stories might have been written off as delusional, except for one thing: the eye witnesses.
Employees at the Sandalwood Cafe, a sparsely-frequented Kula lunch spot, which turned out to be the top secret location for the first “Henry Rice”-Dorcy meetings, were surprised one day to see an elderly man sitting blindfolded in a car before being led into the restaurant. At subsequent meetings, they saw the same man at a table with a white-haired man, signing documents. When the Dorcy case hit the news and they recognized Dorcy as the elderly man in the blindfold, they came forward, as did a customer at the Sandalwood with a similar story. At first, the attorneys litigating the case weren’t sure what to make of this development—high-profile cases sometimes draw crackpot claims. Then the Sandalwood employees showed them the videos they had secretly recorded. There sat Dorcy, in the Sandalwood, apparently signing papers, as a white haired man and a woman, who clearly appear to be Petro and Leatrice Hoy, look on.
The Crew Change
Another courtesy The Man extended to Dorcy was a thorough vetting of Dorcy’s personal staff and professional advisers, an investigation that turned up “irregularities” with most of them, and led to their mass firing. On Dec. 30, while Dorcy sat at the Sandalwood with his new friend, Kanuha went to Dorcy’s home to begin serving termination notices. He was assisted by “Elle,” who Dorcy believed to be Henry Rice’s personal and executive secretary, on loan to him. In reality, Elle was Leatrice Hoy.
Dorcy and "Gillian" on a voyage to Tahiti.
Pettigrew’s head was the first to roll. She was given two hours to clear off the property and forbidden to contact Dorcy again. Bookkeepers, a lawyer, an accountant and others were dismissed. Even Gilligan, who wasn’t an employee of Dorcy’s, was faxed his termination notice. Elsa, the Tahitian housekeeper, who survived the bloodletting, wanted to know who gave Kanuha and Elle the authority to fire everybody. “Both of them said, ‘We are just doing what Baron told us to do,’” Elsa testified.
To replace Pettigrew as Dorcy’s caregiver, Kanuha brought in Gale Kehaulani Kuaea, who allegedly claimed to have a nursing degree from Johns Hopkins University, but actually had no higher education at all. What she did have were close ties to the Hoys, as Leatrice’s cousin and Petro’s ex-wife. Kanuha also hired a new accountant, and, in the final addition to Dorcy’s new team, a lawyer, Glenn Kosaka. Within a week and a half, Kosaka had Dorcy’s signature on documents that gave Kanuha power of attorney, named Kanuha as his sole beneficiary, and amended his trust so that Kanuha, his brother-in-law and Kosaka himself were primary officers. The day after gaining power of attorney, Kanuha began writing checks on Dorcy’s account, the first for $25,000, which he said Dorcy authorized for the purchase of refrigerators for the Morihara Store.
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