COURT ORDERS SAMOA LAWMAKER TO PAY UP

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Meredith owes retirement fund $150,000

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 31, 2010) – A Samoan businessman who’s also an MP, Muagututi’a George Meredith, has been convicted in the district court for failing to pay his employees’ contributions to the National Provident Fund.

The owner of George Meredith Associates, or GMA, pleaded guilty to 134 charges when he appeared in court on Friday.

His lawyer had asked the court to consider the economic financial crisis which he gave as one of the reasons for the non-payment.

Two of the defendant’s businesses have failed in the past two years.

The presiding judge, Tauiliili Fao Harry Schuster, said the payment of workers contributions to the NPF has to be followed through by all employers.

Muagututi’a has been ordered to pay the more than US$150,000 or face six months in jail.

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