31 Jan 2011

US plans response to federal funds theft in Marshall Islands

5:52 am on 31 January 2011

Ten people in the Marshall Islands have been charged with stealing just over half a million dollars in United States grants.

Prosecutors saying the amount could easily go over a million dollars with more charges expected in the coming week.

Two of the ten people charged, one working in a business and the other at the Ministry of Finance, have admitted falsifying dozens of documents.

The federal grant funding was intended for the ministries of health and education.

With the U.S. government providing more than US$80 million a year , two-thirds of the Marshall Islands' annual budget, there is serious concern the theft could lead to the stopping of grants.