Watch out for man who allegedly says he will help you buy a vehicle from off island — he's been charged again
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The former manager of Pacific Shipping Services (PSS) who was released on a $35,000 surety bond after he was arrested by police two weeks ago and charged for embezzlement and stealing was taken back into the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) on Wednesday after he was served with a new arrest warrant by the government.
Lepua’i Allen Mayer appeared in District Court before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea for his preliminary hearing (PX) Wednesday morning. However, when Lepuiai’s case was called, prosecutor Kristine Soule informed the court that the government has filed a new criminal complaint against the defendant and the defendant was already served with a copy of the new arrest warrant.
Defense attorney, private attorney Marcellus Talaimalo Uiagalelei acknowledged receiving a copy of the new arrest warrant, where his client is being charged with one count of embezzlement and one count of stealing, both class C felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of for up to seven years, 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.
Bail was set at $25,000.
Due to the new case against his client, Uiagalelei requested the court for a continuance with the PX, to give him time to work with his client on both cases. Patea granted the defense’s motion after the prosecutor did not object and scheduled PX for both cases next week.
On the issue of bond, Uiagalelei argued to the court to reduce his client’s bond to $15,000. He stated that his client has strong ties to the community and he’s a family man who provides for his family. He also stated that the amount of surety bond his client posted for his previous case was higher than the amount set by the court.
The government strongly objected to the defense’s motion for a reduction of bond. Soule told the court that bond for each of the two new criminal cases against the defendant is based on the amount of money allegedly involved.
After considering submissions from both parties, Patea granted the defense’s motion and reduced the bond to $15,000.
On Dec. 29, 2020, a woman walked into the Central Police Station in Fagatogo and requested assistance regarding a male who assisted her in buying a new vehicle from off-island that turned out to be fraudulent. The male the woman was referring to is Lepua’i Allen Mayer, the defendant in this matter.
According to the victim, in May of 2020, she met with Mayer who negotiated with her to get a car from off-island. Mayer via emails and messages told her about a truck that was available.
She then spoke to her son, who is off-island, and she received a check from him for over $24,000 to buy the vehicle as a Mother’s Day present. The victim gave the check to Mayer for the vehicle, and Mayer promised her the vehicle. However, as time passed, and she continued to call Mayer but he didn’t answer his phone. She also tried to contact him via email but to no avail. She finally went to his house before Christmas to confront him and it was unsuccessful, but she did speak with his wife regarding the matter.
She eventually did speak with Mayer who told her the truck was on the main dock awaiting clearance, and that it would need to be serviced due to the fact that it was on the dock for a long time. Since that day, she has not received any information from Mayer and he was not answering his phone.
At some point, she was able to contact Mayer again, and he agreed that he would come up with $24,768 on Dec. 29, 2020, but Mayer failed to do so and promised that he would bring the money personally on the next day, Dec. 30.
The victim showed up on Dec. 30th at Fagatogo Police Station with Mayer and found out that the money was not on hand. Mayer then wrote and signed a promissory note on Dec. 30th that he would bring the whole amount in cash of $24,768 on Jan. 6th, 2021.
On the next day, Dec. 31st, Mayer was brought in and Mirandized. Mayer refused to make a written statement regarding the matter.
Samoa News understands that no payment has been made by Mayer to this victim to date.
Mayer told Samoa News after his hearing that he has already resolved the matter between himself and the victim two weeks ago. He further stated to Samoa News that the victim has already approached the Attorney General’s office and police twice in an effort to withdraw her complaint. He said the victim has agreed to testify as a witness during his PX next week.