FORMER PALAU SENATOR FINED $25,000 FOR FRAUD

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By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Jan. 14) — Palau Supreme Court Associate Justice Larry Miller entered a judgment in the amount of $25,000 against Ambassador to Japan and former senator Santos Olikong in connection with alleged misuse of government funds.

The $25,000 includes $14,000 of civil penalties and $11,000 of restitution.

Earlier the Special Prosecutor filed a suit against Olikong for pocketing $11,000 of Palau government " representation funds" in connection with his travel outside of Palau from 1997 to 2000 while he was a senator.

Olikong spent, $1,000 for entertainment in Paris, France; $1,250 for entertainment; $1,500 for tips for official drivers and entertainment in Beijing; $1,000 for hosting two dinners for students and other Palauans in Guam; $625 for entertainment in Manila; $750 including a $500 contribution, entertainment and meals from former FSM Vice President Peter Tun’s funeral; $525 for entertainment in Arcata, California; $350 for meals in Manila for Paluans who had already received per diem expenses for the trip; $400 for dinner and luncheon meetings in Arcata, California and $300 for entertainment in Guam.

The SP said that Olikong failed to submit any receipts for any of the alleged expenditures.

In a two-page order of Justice Miller, it said the Special Prosecutor said that the plaintiff’s motion for entry of judgment is in the amount of $87,500, composed of $11,000 in restitution for payments received by the defendant, and $76,500 in civil penalties and punitive damages.

The decision said that Olikong countered and said that the judgment should be entered in the amount of $11,000.

January 14, 2005

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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