Two women made their initial appearances in District Court yesterday in two separate felony cases; Katerina Siliga is facing two counts of embezzlement, while Chellette Foster Metuli is charged with two counts of stealing and two counts of fraudulent use of credit card.
Defendants are being held on bail of $10,000 each and they are represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley, while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
Siliga a former insurance agent of South Seas Insurance is accused of misappropriating money for a life insurance policy of a couple who reside in Savai’i.
The embezzlement charges against Siliga are class C felonies punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of $5,000 or a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment.
According to the government’s case, two sisters went to South Seas Insurance to get an insurance policy for their parents who live in Savaii, where they met with a senior insurance agent who later flew to Savaii to meet their parents and take pictures.
It's alleged after the senior insurance agent returned from Savaii he prepared the paperwork for the insurance policy, which he gave to defendant.
Siliga is alleged to have taken the insurance policy to the victims to sign, which they did. It's alleged the defendant picked up the victim’s initial payment of $240 for the policy on November 25, 2011.
The government claims the defendant agreed to pick up payments from the victims every month from November to July. The victims allege that they always asked the defendant for receipts, but she always said she would get them later, however they never received any receipts.
One of the victims told police she made monthly payments of $120 from November 2011 through June 2012 and in July she made a payment of $60.00. It's alleged Siliga picked up the payments each month.
The government claims that in August 2012, one of the victims heard that Siliga was arrested so she contacted the South Seas Insurance inquiring about their parents’ insurance policy.
The senior insurance agent told the victim that there was no insurance policy in the name of their parents and suggested the defendant may have thrown away the paperwork after they signed it.
Police interviewed the defendant, who said she takes the blame for what happened and has already spoken to the victims about paying them back.
Siliga told police she got a quote for an insurance policy for the victim’s parents last year around May or June 2011 and upon completing the paperwork, she took it to victims to sign, but the paperwork never made it back to South Seas Insurance.
Siliga admitted to police that from November 2011 to June 2012 she used all the money she received from the two victims that was supposed to be payments for the insurance.
CHELLETTE FOSTER METULI
Metuli is up on allegations that she stole a credit and used it to purchase airline tickets.
The two stealing charges against Metuli are class C Felonies, punishable by imprisonment up to seven years, a fine up to $5000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and prison.
The fraudulent use of a credit card counts are class D felonies, punishable by imprisonment up to five years, a fine up to $5,000 a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment.
According to the government’s case a woman walked into the police station on August 29, 2012 to report that her credit card had been stolen and used to purchase two(2) Hawaiian Airlines tickets.
The victim told police that on August 28, 2012, she noticed the two fraudulent purchases on her bank account for the purchase of the airline tickets and she notified Bank of Hawaii to dispute the transactions. Bank of Hawaii told the victim the purchases were for airline tickets issued to a man and woman each in the amount of $876.70 for a total of $1,753.40.
According to the government’s case, the victim was told the person whose name which the ticket is purchased under has been looking for the defendant. The victim then approached Metuli who allegedly admitted that she took the victim’s credit card information out of victim’s wallet, which the victim had left on her desk.
Police interviewed Metuli who admitted that her friend gave her $1,500 to purchase airline tickets. She said she put this money in her purse and left her purse on her desk at work while she was out of the office, and when she returned the money was gone.
The government claims the defendant said she didn’t say anything to anyone about the missing money, because she thought she might have misplaced the money, however two days later she still couldn’t find the money.
Then the defendant went to the victim’s desk and took the victim’s credit card information and made the purchase for the plane tickets.
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