7 Mar 2007

Jailed American Samoa Education Director wins early release from prison

10:42 am on 7 March 2007

American Samoa's former Director of Education, Dr. Sili Sataua, has been released from the federal detention centre in Honolulu after serving only 12 months of a 30 month prison term for defrauding the US government.

In October of 2005, Sataua was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment, and ordered to pay restitution of $61,000 to the American Samoa Government.

Sili had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bribery and fraud concerning federal programmes.

In his plea, Sili admitted that beginning in 1999 and continuing until July 2003, he agreed to fraudulently award Department of Education contracts to his co-conspirators and their companies in exchange for $9,000 in cash and goods.

Sili also admitted that he stole and misappropriated food and goods from the American Samoa School Lunch Programme that were supposed to have been used for feeding children in public schools.