AMERICAN SAMOA JURY ACQUITS OFFICIAL OF EMBEZZLEMENT

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 9) – A high court jury in American Samoa has acquitted a former School Lunch Program manager of embezzlement.

The government accused Toetu Solaita of misappropriating food items by allowing employees to take the items for personal use.

Solaita’s attorney argued that the allegations arose only because Solaita helped his employees when they needed it.

He was manager of a federally funded program between October 2002 to March 2003.

Solaita has pleaded guilty to similar charges in the federal court in Honolulu and is set for sentencing in early October.

May 11, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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