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Former PPYC board member facing embezzlement charges

reporters@samoanews.com

A former member of the Pago Pago Yacht Club (PPYC) Board is facing embezzlement and stealing charges on allegations that she misappropriated funds belonging to the American Samoa Sailing Association (ASSA) without proper authorization.

Marie Lorraine Reid also known as Lola Reid is scheduled to make her initial appearance in the District Court this morning.

Reid was arrested Friday afternoon by detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division with the Department of Public Safety and was held at TCF on bail of $5,000.

The embezzlement charge, a class C felony, carries a jail term of up to seven years in jail a fine of $5,000 — a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from commission of said crime (up to a maximum of $20,000) — or both.

Reid is also facing a stealing charge, a class C felony punishable for up to seven years in jail a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of the said crime up to a maximum of $20,000, or both.

According to the government’s case on February 3, 2011, James McGuire filed a complaint with the Department of Public Safety regarding the ASSA account with Bank of Hawai’i. It is alleged in the complaint that Reid used the ASSA account for her personal use. Court document says prior to the incident, Reid was a member and officer of the PPYC.

Reid had been elected as the Rear Commodore and she was the primary signator on the subsidiary corporation for the ASSA’s bank account.

According to court documents the ASSA board of directors requires two signatures to withdraw funds from the ASSA account. The police affidavit states that Reid abused that fiduciary responsibility and signed a number of ASSA Junior Sailing Fund checks made out to her name and cashed them.

Court documents state that Reid is responsible for $1,500 in checks written to herself without proper authorization. The total amount of the six checks that Reid made out to herself, signed and endorsed is $1,130, and the additional $370 was incurred in bank fees.

According to the government’s case Reid made a written statement to the police stating that she took funds in the form of six checks made out to her — out of the ASSA Junior Sailing fund — “to keep the kid’s money safe from McGuire”.  

In court documents, Reid admitted to cashing six checks from August 12, 2010 to November 15, 2010 payable to herself and endorsed by herself without a second signature.



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