12 Jun 2002

Appeal for leniency for convicted American Samoan credit union fraudster

2:24 pm on 12 June 2002

The former directors of the defunct American Samoa Government Employees Credit Union have asked a federal judge for leniency when he sentences the former manager of the credit union, Bernard Gurr, for fraud and embezzlement.

In a letter to Judge Robert Hogan, the former credit union chairman, Mineretta Thompson and director Imo Tiapula, expressed their sincere appreciation for a fair trial conducted by the judge.

But they have pleaded that he be lenient and thoughful in the sentencing, due later this year.

Mineretta Thompson testified on Gurr's behalf at last year's trial, where prosecutors charged that Gurr ran the nine million dollar credit union for the benefit of the directors and other cronies.

Gurr was tried in the Washington DC because American Samoa does not have a federal court.

Gurr is being held in prison near Washington while he awaits sentencing.