Court Report



A man who forged his paycheck last year November after he was fired denied the charges against him when he was arraigned in High Court yesterday. Presiding over the matter was Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Mamoe Vaoga is charged with stealing and two counts of forgery.

According to the government’s case the incident came to light when managers of the Atlas Construction— Filioali’I Ioane Laumatia and So’otaga Fuala’au— filed a complaint at the Tafuna West Substation accusing Vaoga of forging his paycheck to reflect a larger amount.

According to the government’s case the defendant was intoxicated while working and he was terminated from his job on November 2, 2011. Two days later he received his last paycheck of $151.74.

However, the defendant altered the check to make it $1,151.74 that he cashed at the ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank. Court filings say Fuala’au received a call from Cost U Less indicating the defendant had attempted to cash the check of $1,151.74 from Atlas Construction. The government claims that when Fuala’au received the call, a stop order was immediately issued with ANZ to prevent the cashing of the check, however the defendant had already cashed the check.

According to the government’s case, the defendant initially claimed that he received his paycheck from his previous employers in the amount of $1,151.74. The defendant told investigating officers that he was surprised to receive such a large amount and thought maybe it was for overtime work, for which he had never been compensated.

The defendant later admitted to police he altered the check and had added a number and a comma, changing the amount on his paycheck, which he had a hard time cashing at stores, because it was over a thousand dollars, according to the government’s case.

The defendant told police he was frustrated when he was caught being intoxicated at work and terminated. He told police given that it was his last paycheck from Atlas Construction he decided to make changes to his paycheck.

 The defendant’s pre-trial conference has been scheduled on June 28, 2012, and he’s being held in custody on bail of $10,000. Assistant Public Defender Mike White represents the defendant while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.


A Vanuatu fisherman charged with deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child was arraigned in the High Court yesterday. Solomona Aru denied the sexually related charges against him when he appeared before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

According to the government’s case Aru is accused of allegedly trying to rape a woman, who was sleeping at home with her young child.

According to the government’s case the defendant went to a restaurant in Atu’u asking the victim for a lighter, however the woman told the defendant to go away because the restaurant was already closed.

The woman told police she had told the defendant a couple of times not to show up at the restaurant in the evening because it was closed, however the defendant allegedly continued to show up.

According to the government’s case the 41-year-old woman was sleeping with her eight-year-old child when she felt someone heavy on top of her. It is alleged that the defendant was touching her in a sexual manner.

Pre-trial conference for Aru is set on May 30, 2012 he’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau.


Cases for Siloma Siotalima and Matthew Yandall were both postponed when they were called for pretrial conference before the High Court yesterday morning. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau asked the court for a two-week continuance while they obtain additional information for the two cases, adding that they are close to coming to a resolution in these matters.

Siotalima who was arrested last year November is charged with first-degree sexual abuse and third degree sexual abuse. According to the government’s case the defendant is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old on several occasions, from July to November 2011.

Matthew Yandall is charged with second-degree assault in connection with an alleged assault case involving the defendant’s girlfriend.

According to the government’s case Yandall is accused of assaulting his girlfriend while intoxicated, after Christmas last year. It’s alleged that Yandall had a verbal argument with his girlfriend two weeks before he allegedly assaulted her.

The victim was admitted to the hospital as a result of the alleged assault. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who presided over the matter re-scheduled pre-trial conference for the pair on May 30, 2012. Yandall and Siotalima are both in the police custody.


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