AMERICAN SAMOA OFFICIAL BEGINS HAWAII PRISON TERM

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By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, Dec. 23) - Former deputy director of the Department of Human and Social Services (DHSS) Patolo Mageo has begun serving his 15-month prison term at the federal detention center (FDC) in Honolulu, located next to the Honolulu International Airport.

Mageo surrendered at the FDC-Honolulu on November 29, as required by provisions of his sentence, handed down October 18 by U.S. District Court Judge Helen Gillmor at the federal court in Honolulu.

Mageo had originally requested to serve the jail term at the federal jail in Sherdian, Oregon or the one in Taft, California while Judge Gillmor suggested FDC Honolulu so the defendant could be close to his family in Hawaii and American Samoa.

Federal electronic court records indicate that the judgment for Mageo's imprisonment was served November 29 at FDC, where the former American Samoa Government official will serve 15 months for his role in a conspiracy to fraudulently award at least US$40,000 of DHSS contracts for several federally funded construction projects for the Women, Infants and Children government building and other contracts for DHSS.

He received at least US$10,000 in exchange for the contracts, said federal prosecutors.

Upon his release in early 2007, Mageo will be under supervised release for three years. The federal court has mandated several conditions of the release as well as US$40,000 in restitution to DHSS, "due immediately" with any balance to be paid upon release from confinement.

The other local defendant in the federal case is former Education Director Dr. Sili Kerisiano Sataua who is supposed to surrender on January 5 at a designated federal jail, yet to be sorted out by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Sataua had requested a jail in the Western part of the U.S. to serve out his 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised released. He must pay US$61,000 in restitution.

Part of the many conditions of Sataua's release includes mental health treatment. He is barred from participating in any form of gambling; be in the presence of any illegal or legal gambling; frequent any business, residence, or area where gambling activities have occurred or are presently occurring; and associating with any persons engaged in gambling or any known gamblers, according to federal electronic court records

The third defendant, former chief procurement officer, Tafua Fa'au Seumanutafa reports to a federal jail, not yet designated, in May next year. The jail term in his local case starts next month at TCF.

December 28, 2005

The Samoa News: http://www.samoanews.com/

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