January 28, 2005
Public Corruption Case in American Samoa is Pled
A DOJ Press release reports of the "fourth defendant to plead guilty in an ongoing investigation" coming out of a corruption prosecutions in American Samoa. According to this press release, the FBI states that " the Sataua, Seumanutafa, Solaita, and Mageo prosecutions are the first public corruption cases to be prosecuted by federal officials involving American Samoa in more than 15 years."
In this plea, the defendant, "the former director of the American Samoa Department of Education"[ASDOE]
"admitted that beginning in 1999 and continuing until July 2003, he agreed to fraudulently award ASDOE contracts paid for with USDOE [United States Department of Education] funds to his co-conspirators and their companies in exchange for his co-conspirators providing him with over $9,000 in cash and goods. The ASDOE receives in excess of $10 million per year from the USDOE and other federal agencies. Further, Sataua admitted that he stole and misappropriated food and goods from the ASDOE School Lunch Program that were supposed to have been used for feeding children in the American Samoa public school system. The A.S. School Lunch Program is wholly funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program and the USDOE."
The defendant is this case pleaded "guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bribery and fraud concerning federal programs, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371."