Published Tuesday 29 Sept 2020 at 1pm. Updated at 4pm.
Update: SGN has been contacted by the accused, to correct the amount allegedly embezzled to “over $348,000” and not $533,940 as listed in the 19 Charges presented in Court.
A mother of two from Sa’asa’ai, Savaii is facing a total of 19 counts of theft as a servant, with amounts from all charges totalling $533,940 as filed and presented in Court this week by Prosecutor, Fuifui Ioane.
According to the accused, the total amount should be just over $348,000 because the charges of theft and forgery are filed separately, but refer to the same amount.
In a message to SGN she says, “You have doubled up. The charges are separate. False accounting, theft as a servant and forgery…if you check the amounts are duplicated through the two charges of theft and forgery hence the total amount I had advised and am charged for is correct which is just above the 340k. I only wanted to correct that as I know amount in your article is incorrect”.
It is alleged that the accused, Aitogi Salanoa embezzled the funds between the months of November 2019 to May 2020. Salanoa was the Branch Manager at the time of the alleged offending.
Defense counsel Afa Lesa requested a two week adjournment to review the file and get instructions from his client.
Justice Tuatagaloa granted an application by defense counsel to vary bail conditions and allow the defendant to sign in at Tuasivi Police Post instead of Faleata, as her two children live and attend school in Savaii.
This matter is now adjourned to 13th October 2020, for defense counsel to review the charges and the accused to enter a plea.
The 19 charges refer to the following amounts: