13 Jun 2007

Trial opens of American Samoan bank staff

9:24 am on 13 June 2007

Three former employees of the ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank have made their first appearance in the District Court facing charges of stealing and embezzlement.

The Samoa News reports that the three are believed to have siphoned off close to $100,000 from the bank's branch in Ofu, Manu'a.

The prosecution claims Tofa Toeaina, who served as a supervisor, misappropriated bank funds for more than two years.

Tellers Jessie Maiava and Caroline Ulberg are alleged to have started off borrowing money with the approval of their supervisor, however, the money was never paid back.

The bank staff in Tutuila conducted a surprise cash count in April and found that a large sum of money was missing from the Ofu branch.

A fourth person involved in the scheme is assisting the government in its case against the other three.