Hawaii's Superferry was shortchanging the state on monthly fees in 2008 at the time it was boasting record success according to Department of Transportation records.
The records show the company was in financial trouble nine months before the Hawaii Supreme Court decision for the ferry's closure in March 2009.
The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports the Court overturned a state law that allowed the Superferry to operate while an environmental impact statement was being conducted.
Neither the company nor the state disclosed at the time that the ferry service couldn't make its required payments.
The state invested close to 40 million US dollars in the failed venture.
Attorneys for the Hawaii Superferry's parent company, HSF Holding Inc., had no comment.