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Update: Tax fraudster gets 30 months plus 3 years supervised release


An American Samoan woman accused by federal prosecutors of operating a multi million dollar tax filing scheme, which involves filing local residents’ tax returns with the US Internal Revenue Service, has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison as well as 40 hours of community service.
Pepe Anetipa, 59, was charged under a 28-count indictment handed down last year for making false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims against the federal government. The defendant is charged for filing bogus tax returns with the IRS for 28 local residents.

Young men warned about sex with underage girlfriends

Even if it is consensual it is against the law

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Ta’ase has issued a stern warning to the young men of American Samoa, that having sex with girls 16 years old and under is against the law and the Attorney General’s office will prosecute these cases. Ta’ase said, “For those young men age 18 or older who are having sex with their girlfriends who are age 16 or less, those young men can be charged with rape, regardless of whether or not their girlfriends’ consented.”

LDS stance on children of gay partners prompts outcry

“Unconscionable” punishment or a way to prevent confusion?

A policy adopted by the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Latter Day Saints, which impacts children of gay parents is generating a lot of concern to members of the church and has led to more than 1,000 members leaving the church.

Manu’a boat off drawing board, under construction


Manu’a faipule Vesi Talalelei Fautanu says Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Washington State is underway with construction on the 140' passenger-cargo boat for Manu’a. It will carry up to 150 passengers, according to the builder. Vesi told Samoa News via email from the mainland that their visit to Whidbey Island in Washington to access progress on the vessel was a success. The visit was held earlier this month.

Principals in Hawaii for Project Based Learning

Some people complain about expense and charge nepotism

To help public high school students expand and enhance skills in areas such as decision-making and creativity, the Department of Education is planning to implement in the next school year, the Project Based Learning Academies (PBLA), which has been implemented successfully by a Hawai’i high school, says Education director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau.

MAP for gasoline $1.12 per gallon lower than last year

Nov-Dec prices lowest in 7 years

American Samoa motorists should expect to see retail gasoline price at the pump to drop below $3 per gallon later this week as the new maximum allowable price (MAP), or wholesale price, went into effect over the weekend.
And the ASG Office of Petroleum Management, which releases the MAP, believes that the new MAP — effective Nov. 15 to Dec. 14, 2015 — will be the lowest in American Samoa in the last seven years during the holiday season time period.

Feds and locals must work together to help canneries


Sen. Galeai Tu’ufuli believes the Lolo Administration needs to work with Congresswoman Aumua Amata and the US Interior Department to find some sort of relief to help out the local canneries, now faced with increased cost of operation due to new minimum wage hikes and restrictions on fishing grounds.

Faalauiloa Ofisa Aoga fuafuaga mo le isi 5 tausaga


Ua faalauiloa e le Faatonusili o Aoga a le malo ni isi o fuafuaga faataoto a le Matagaluega mo le isi 5 tausaga o loo lumana’i nei, ina ia mafai ai ona fesoasoani i le tau foiaina o le faafitauli ua maitauina, o le to’atele lea o fanau aoga ae laiti faleaoga.

ASDOC takes advantage of agreement with career academy high school


The American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) has had a partnership agreement in place for over two years with a Hawai’i high school, which is a “career academy high school”, according to Education director Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau.

Feds: Over $3M in refunds linked to tax fraudster

They say Anetipa encouraged others in her family to file false returns too

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) linked some 400 federal tax returns claiming more than $3 million in refunds to American Samoa tax fraudster Pepe Anetipa’s tax filing scheme that involved two countries, and multiple US states, according to federal prosecutors in the sentencing memo filed at the federal court in Anchorage Alaska.
However, Anetipa was only charged with 28 counts under a federal indictment in which the federal government claims the defendant received over $200,000.

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