Fonoti fights his case in jury trial after plea falls through
One of the two men charged on allegations that they claimed they were from the Federal Bureau Office (FBI) office and hired people to do construction work which they alleged would be paid for by the FBI, will be fighting his case in a jury trial.
Last week Fonoti stood before the court for a plea hearing case, however during that plea hearing the defendant was answering questions reluctantly and Chief Justice Michael Kruse continued the matter until yesterday.
Fonoti is charged with two counts of stealing, for appropriating property and services of people to do labor service for the purpose of depriving them by the means of deceiving.
Fonoti appeared in court yesterday for his plea hearing and through his attorney, Public Defender Douglas Fiaui, asked the court to set his jury trial.
The government claims Wayne Mataio filed a complaint with police, indicating that he and his workers were yet to be paid for the services they performed for the defendants, who claimed they were working for the FBI office.
The government also claims, the defendants warned the workers that if they were to ever question them, they would be thrown in jail, and their families would never see them again.
Other complaints in the affidavit state that the defendants threatened the workers that if they questioned them for their wages they would be arrested and put in jail for two years.
The defendant is still incarcerated with bail set at $10,000.