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Man charged after writing bad checks at local store

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of passing bad checks at a local store was arrested last week pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court.

Tuilata Faasega made his initial appearance this past week. He is charged with three counts of stealing and three counts of passing a bad check, all class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment for each count.

Bail is set at $20,000 and a preliminary examination is next Tuesday.


On Aug. 11, 2019, the owner of a Tafuna company filed a complaint against Fa’asega for writing three checks — on three separate occasions—- without sufficient funds to cover them.

The government claims that in April, Faasega took delivery of goods and furniture worth $610 from the victim’s company, after the two parties agreed that Faasega would pay for the items at a later date.

Three days later, Faasega wrote a check for $610 and told the owner not to deposit it until he calls. Two weeks later, Faasega went to the same store. This time, he asked for items worth $542 and again, the victim agreed.

Faasega wrote a check for his purchase and again asked the victim not to deposit it until he calls because he was waiting on some money to come in. The victim agreed and gave Faasega a receipt to sign.

One month later, in May, the victim called Faasega about the two checks he wrote. The victim wanted to deposit the checks but was waiting for the green light from Faasega, who told the victim to wait because something was wrong with his money from off-island.

On June 21st, Faasega went to the victim’s company a third time and asked if he could make another purchase. Again, the victim agreed to let Faasega write a check that was not to be cashed until he called. That purchase totaled $731.

Faasega took the merchandise and left.

The next morning, Faasega went to see the victim and begged him to give him back the first check he wrote for $610 because he really needed money to pay for his daughter’s trip to Hawaii. Faasega assured the victim that as soon as he got some of the money the government owed him, he would stop by to settle his account with the company. Out of love, the victim agreed and released the first check to Faasega.

On June 29th, Faasega wrote the victim a $610 check to replace the one he had gotten back for his first purchase. The following week, Faasega called the victim and told him to deposit all three checks, as there was now money in his bank account to cover them.

The victim did so but in August, when he inquired about his account balance at the bank,  he was given a much lower amount than anticipated. So he inquired about the three checks from Faasega that he had deposited.

A bank teller informed the victim that shortly before he deposited the three checks from Faasega, funds were withdrawn from Faasega’s account, but were not posted in the system, which why he was told that there was enough money in Faasega’s account.

The victim attempted to call Faasega about the bad checks but Faasega never answered his phone. One day, Faasega picked up and told the victim that he was too busy to talk and he never called the victim back.

When the victim went to Faasega’s workplace two months ago for an explanation, Faasega begged him not take the matter to court but instead, give him time to pay his debt. The victim felt that he had waited long enough and reported the matter to police.

Investigators met with Faasega who expressed frustration that the victim reported the issue, saying it’s a civil matter. He told police that he has done business with the victim for over 20 years and the victim knows him very well.

Faasega said he will pay back the money he owes to the victim because he’s like a brother to him.