6 Nov 2003

Solomon Islands pyramid scheme operators sentenced

11:10 am on 6 November 2003

Organisers of the Family Charity Fund pyramid scheme that swindled thousands of Solomon Islanders of millions of dollars have received jail sentences of up to five years in jail.

The director of the fund, Jean Maenu'u, received a sentence of five years, while Baddley Au was sentenced to serve five years and three months.

Close associates Jack Akao and John Meke received three year jail sentences and Honiara City Councillor Pat Tom received a jail term of two and a half years for his part in the administration of the scheme.

A sixth defendant, Mike Hora, will appear in court on Friday.

Magistrate Nick Makin also ordered the five defendants to pay a total of 571-thousand US dollars jointly in compensation to the court, to be paid out to victims of their actions.