1 Jul 2008

Samoan woman convicted of alien harboring

10:44 am on 1 July 2008

A Samoan woman convicted of alien harboring in a case relating to three citizens from Samoa has been sentenced to five months in prison and ordered to pay more than 200,000 US dollars in restitution.

According to federal court documents, Malieo Tafua aka Malieo Masaniai, was originally charged with three counts of alien smuggling and one count of alien harboring in connection with incidents that occurred between 2001 and 2002.

The case was set for trial in early March of this year but Tafua later opted to plead guilty under a plea agreement with the federal government.

The defendant pled guilty to alien harboring while the charges of alien smuggling were dismissed.

Court records say Tafua admitted that she concealed, harbored and shielded the three Samoan nationals "from detection, for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain".