THIRD ALLEGED WU THEFT AT SAME BRANCH
Another former Western Union employee have been charged with stealing money from its customers. The government alleges Mavis Fusimalohi stole $1,000 from an Asian customer, while employed at the Western Union branch in Nu’uuli.
The case against Fusimalohi surfaced while police and a senior staff member of the Western Union was investigating the matter against two other former employees, who have now been charged with two class C felony counts each for stealing and embezzlement.
According to the government’s case, it was revealed from WU’s internal investigation that US$1,000 was also missing from their records, after another Asian customer complained that his family in China never received the money he sent around July 2016.
When questioned by the WU supervisor, the defendant admitted that she took $1,000 for her personal use, and she did it without authority from her employer, or the Asian customer who owned the money.
The victim in this case, an Asian customer told the WU supervisor that sometime in July 2016, he went to the WU branch in Nu’uuli to send $1,000 to his family in China, and the employee who served him, who is now the defendant in this matter, told him that his money would be available within 30 days, and he has to check back after 30 days.
After the 30-day period was over, the Asian customer went back to WU to check on his money but was told by the defendant to come back in another 30 days because his money had still not cleared from the system.
It was at that time WU became aware of the problem happening within the company that employees were stealing money from its customers and immediately conducted an internal investigation pertaining this matter, which resulted in filling charges against the first two defendants who appeared in court last month, and last week, Fasimalohi made her initial appearance before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia.
Fasimalohi’s preliminary hearing was set for last Friday, however, his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson informed the court that his client wishes to waive her rights for a PX hearing, and let her case be bound over to the High Court.
Anderson also requested the court to reduce his client’s bond from $10,000 to $5,000.
He said that his client is not a flight risk to the government, and she has a lot of family ties to the community. Prosecutor Robert Morris opposed the defense’s request and told the court that the bail amount that was set by the court is reasonable.
Sunia granted the defense’s request and reduced Fusimalohi’s bond to $5,000.
In High Court yesterday, Fusimalohi denied the charges against her, and her first pretrial conference is now set for Mar. 26, 2018. She was remanded into custody unable to post her bond.
UNCLE ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING HIS NIECE
A 40-year-old man has been accused of sexual abusing his 12-year-old niece. The government claims that the victim is the daughter of the defendant’s sister.
The alleged incident was reported to police when the alleged victim told her mother of what happened last month, when her uncle allegedly sexually abused her. The victim told police that the incident happened at her uncle’s home when she went there to hang out with his children.
She was in the living room watching television with her young cousins when her uncle, who was in the kitchen called out to her to come. When she got to where her uncle was, he instructed her to put the dishes in the sink and help him with the cooking.
While she was washing dishes, the victim told police that she suddenly felt someone touching her shoulders. She immediately turned around and saw his uncle standing behind her with both of his hands around her body. She tried to move, but he whispered to her, “Just act normal and continue on to do what you’re doing.”
The victim told police that after her uncle whispered to her, he then moved his hand to her chest touching her breast from outside of her clothes, then moving down to her private parts. She then moved away from him and ran outside and off to her house.
The victim reported the alleged incident to her mother when she came back after work, and that is when he mother contacted police for assistance.
The government says the defendant was under the influence of alcohol when he was arrested by police; and he refused to make a statement to the police, nor would he cooperate when he was questioned about the alleged incident.
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last week, where he waived his rights to a preliminary examination, and his case was bound over to the High Court for further proceedings. District Court Judge Fiti Sunia set bail for the defendant at $10,000.
However, during his arraignment in High Court last Friday, after the defendant entered a plea of not guilty to all three charges against him, Chief Justice Michael Kruse scheduled a bond hearing for the defendant for this week, after the court refused to sign an order to release the defendant on a $10,000 surety bond. Kruse wanted to know more about where the defendant is going to stay if the court allows him to be released on bond.
The charges are sexual abuse in the first degree and child molesting — both felonies — and endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
Robert Morris appeared for the victim, while Deputy Public Defender Michael White represented the defendant.
During the court proceedings, Kruse stated that the allegations against the defendant are most serious, and the court does not want him to go back to the same environment where the alleged incident occurred.
He also wanted the government attorney to know that the safety of the alleged victim is something the court is concerned about.
The defendant’s bond hearing was re-scheduled for next week, allowing for both attorneys time to present more information to the court about where the defendant will be staying if the court releases him on bond.