High court convicts in forgery and escape cases
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 33-year-old man who was accused of stealing checks from a businessman and forging his signature has admitted to the allegations.
Henry Jr Sipa was initially charged in two separate cases.
In the first case, Sipa was charged with stealing, forgery, and fraud — all felonies. Each count is punishable by not more than 7 years imprisonment, and/or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both. For the second case, he was charged with attempted stealing, resisting arrest, and two counts of third degree assault.
However, under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the court last week, Sipa pled guilty to forgery and resisting arrest.
With his guilty pleas, Sipa admits that on or about May 22, 2018 he signed a check from a store in Nu’uuli without the owner’s permission. He further admits that he forged the signature of the store owner on the check, pretended that he was the owner, and cashed the check for his own personal use.
For resisting arrest, Sipa admits that on or about June 20, 2018 when he knew police were on their way to arrest him, he drove off at a high rate of speed. Sipa further admits that his vehicle almost collided with other cars and pedestrians who were crossing the road.
Sipa is remanded back to custody, He will be sentenced May 28.
A man from Vaitogi has been convicted of a felony: escape from confinement, punishable by imprisonment of not more than 5 years, and/ or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.
Tony Faalata, 25, was convicted last week.
Under a plea agreement, Faalata admits that on/or about April 29, 2018, he escaped from the Territorial Correctional Facility while serving a 5-year sentence handed down in 2015 for second degree assault.
The government is recommending that Faalata be sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, to run consecutively with his previous sentence.
Faalata is not new to the justice system. He first appeared in court back in 2014 where he was convicted of assaulting a businessman. At the time, he was ordered to serve 20 months in prison as a condition of a 5-year probation term.
A few months after he was released in 2016, police arrested him again for assaulting another man. In that case, Faalata was convicted of second degree assault and was ordered to serve 5 years in prison.
Last year, Faalata escaped from the TCF.
His sentencing is scheduled for May 23