17 Nov 2003

American Samoan man sentenced to nearly six years in jail after thefts from Credit Union

6:50 am on 17 November 2003

The former General Manger of American Samoa's Government Employees Federal Credit Union has been sentenced to nearly six years in jail on fraud and conspiracy charges.

Bernard Gurr was also ordered to pay 65 thousand US dollars in restitution ...the amount he was found to have stolen directly from the Credit Union.

Gurr was arrested at Honolulu International Airport in 1999 and has been held in a prison outside Washington DC since then.

He was found guilty two and a half years ago of 19 charges of bank fraud and conspiracy for looting the nine million dollar Credit Union ......causing a loss of four and a half million dollars to the federal government.

Just before sentencing , the federal court heard an impassioned plea from Gurr who insisted the US government does not have any authority over American Samoa.