29 Aug 2008

American Samoa Attorney-General's staff charged over missing money

10:12 am on 29 August 2008

In American Samoa, four employees of the Attorney General's Office have been arrested and charged with a number of offences including stealing, forgery,

embezzlement conspiracy to commit stealing and corruption.

The four are accused of taking money that members of the public paid for certificates of identity, passports and other documents and using the money for their own purposes rather than handing it over to the Revenue office.

According to court documents, the defendants maintained they were borrowing the money with the intention of paying it back, but months passed and no payments

were made and Treasury noted that fees paid to the Attorney-Generals office were not at their usual level.

Officials say investigations over ten months led to the arrests.

Its estimated that the defendants stole nearly $400,000.