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Man pleads guilty to stealing after using someone else's credit card

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of fraudulently using another person’s credit card has admitted to the stealing charge against him.

Vaosa Igafo appeared in court last Friday morning for a Change of Plea hearing. Prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn, while Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill represented the defendant, who was released on a $5,000 surety bond.

Igafo was initially charged with one count of forgery; one count of stealing; and one count of fraudulent use of a device — all felonies.

However, under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Igafo pled guilty to stealing, a class C felony, carrying a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine 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.

The remaining charges were dismissed.

With his guilty plea, Igafo admits that between June 16 and June 20, 2016 he used the victim’s credit card to withdraw money without permission.

Under the plea agreement, the government is not opposed to a probated sentence; however, it was made clear to Igafo that he cannot withdraw his guilty plea if he doesn’t agree with whatever sentence the court imposes.

According to the government, the amount of money that was involved in the fraudulent transaction was around $1,400 and Igafo has already paid back the full amount he stole, to the victim,

Associate Justice Fiti Sunia ordered that Igafo continue with his release on bond while he awaits sentencing, set for Sept. 12th.