THIRD EMBEZZLEMENT CASE FILED AGAINST KATERINA SILIGA
The government has filed another case against Katerina Siliga, a former Insurance Agent with South Seas Insurance.
Siliga is charged with embezzlement, a class C felony punishable by 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 crime up to a maximum of $20,000 or both fine and jail time.
This will be the government’s third case against the defendant charging her with embezzlement. Siliga, who has no bail status, made her initial appearance before Associate Justice John Ward in the District Court yesterday. Siliga was ordered by Ward not to contact the complaining witness directly or indirectly.
This latest case is in connection with an incident that occurred back in May 2011, when the defendant was employed by South Seas Insurance.
According to the government’s case, on October 10, 2012, a man walked into the East Substation reporting that he had applied for a life insurance policy for his father through Siliga. It is alleged the defendant told the complaining witness the payment would be $84.20 per month starting in May 2011, which was when the complaining witness began to make payments.
Court filings state that in August 2011 the defendant informed the victim that the premium increased to $127.78 which the defendant paid until June 2012.
It’s alleged the complaining witness told police he asked for receipt of his payments and the defendant gave him three receipts for the payments of September, October and November last year.
The government claims that in May 2012 the complaining witness’s father passed away and the victim immediately contacted the defendant. It’s alleged the defendant told the complaining witness that he needs to continue making payments until they could provide a death certificate.
Court filings state that a death certificate was provided to the defendant and when the victim contacted the defendant on the status of his father’s life insurance the defendant told him that her boss was off-island.
On July 2012 the victim went to the South Seas Insurance Company to inquire about the status of his father’s life insurance policy, and that was when he was told that they did not have a policy on his father and that the receipts provided are not the receipts that the South Seas Insurance uses.
Court filings state that on August 17, 2012 the victim met with the defendant who apologized and stated that she used the money with a friend named Mili. The defendant assured the victim that she was selling her pick-up truck and she will pay the victim back.
The investigating office contacted the defendant who was already incarcerated and she refused to make a statement.
The police also contacted the defendant’s friend whom she mentioned but the friend told police she had nothing to do with the defendant’s situation.
The victim then contacted the police, saying that on October 12, 2012 around noon, the defendant called him from the TCF.
She asked the victim for forgiveness and said when she gets out of jail, she will pay the victim back. “The defendant begged the victim to withdraw his complaint and not to press charges,” say court filings.
Siliga made her initial appearance yesterday and will be arraigned in High Court today after she waiving her right to a preliminary examination in District Court.
It’s alleged the amount of money the victim paid for his father’s insurance policy totaled $1,019.28.
The other two embezzlement cases against Siliga are already in the court.
The first case filed alleges Siliga misappropriated money for the life insurance policy of a couple who reside in Savai’i. The defendant faces two counts of embezzlement.
The second embezzlement case against Siliga accuses her of taking money from two women who gave the defendant a total amount of $900 so she could buy K-fares from Hawaiian Airlines for the two victims.
The government alleges that there were no K-fares, and the defendant used part of the money for her personal use. She returned $700 reimbursement to one woman, $50 to the other woman, but still owesthe amount of $200.
All three cases are now before the High Court.
ASG EMPLOYEE CAUGHT DUI IN GOVERNMENT VEHICLE RECEIVES PLEA OFFER
A Procurement office employee who was caught driving a government vehicle while allegedly under the influence of alcohol and while his driver’s license was suspended for a previous DUI, received a plea offer from the government.
Pulemau Pa’aga, was among the many DUI’s arrested during the Department of Public Safety’s three weeks enforcement, coinciding with the National Campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” two months ago.
Pa’aga is charged with felony driving and driving under the influence, among other traffic citations.
According to the government’s case, police pulled Pa’aga over while operating a Procurement vehicle without an official permit to operate the government vehicle.
Following the incident the Procurement vehicle was impounded by police when Paaga was taken into custody and he’s out on a $750 bail.
Fiti Sunia who represents the defendant in this matter requested a brief continuance while they file the proper documents in this case, given that the defendant has accepted the plea offer by the government.
The defendant is scheduled to be in court in the next two weeks for his change of plea hearing.