10 Jun 2002

Several Samoan government officials are to testify in a US fraud trial

3:43 pm on 10 June 2002

A former Attorney General's lawyer plus several government officials are to testify in a case in Seattle involving 25 million US dollars of fraudulently obtained money allegedly hidden in Samoa.

The lawyer, George Latu, was the government's senior prosecutor involved in freezing the money with an application to the Supreme Court of Samoa following a request from the US government.

The US request to freeze the money was made two years ago after it was discovered to be the proceeds of a fraudulent investment scheme.

Last March, William Cravens, an American Samoan and four others were arrested in connection with the scheme.

Late last year, Cravens signed court documents releasing all the money in the bank accounts that he controlled in Apia.