17 Months for Forging Family Court Judge’s Signature



A woman in her 40s has been sentenced to 17 months imprisonment for making false documents and forging the signature of District Court Judge Talasa Atoa-Saaga.

Vinnetta Lagoto pleaded guilty to five charges of forging the signatures of Judge Atoa-Saaga and Senior Lawyer Papalii Lio Taeu Masipau, in an attempt to process adoption documents.

Despite Ms Lagoto being a first offender Justice Vui Clarence Nelson said it was important to send a message to the general public of the seriousness of these types of offences.

The signature according to the police summary of facts was allegedly forced on adoption documents for a person named Lafoina Brown.

It is alleged that between 31 March 2019 and 30 April 2019 at Mulinuu, Vinnetta made a false document namely an order of adoption for Lafoina Brown by writing the name and signing the signature of Family Court Judge Talasa Atoa Saaga.

Additional charges related to Ms Lagoto forging the signature of a senior lawyer, Papalii Lio Taeu Masipau, on adoption documents for Haroseta Faapelepele and Eterei Minute.

Marieta H Ilalio