13 Feb 2019

US lays charges against Micronesian official amid bribery probe

4:28 pm on 13 February 2019

The US Department of Justice has charged a Micronesian government official with his alleged involvement in a bribery scheme.

No caption

Photo: 123rf

The charges were unsealed on Tuesday as part of an ongoing probe into millions of dollars in bribes stemming from a Hawaii businessman.

The Micronesian official, Master Halbert, was arrested on Monday in Hawaii and is scheduled for a detention hearing today.

Mr Halbert, who oversaw airport management and aviation programmes in Micronesia for the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

It's alleged between 2006 and 2016, he accepted bribes from a company owned by Hawaii businessman Frank James Lyon.

In exchange for the bribes to Mr Halbert and other Micronesian officials, the company was able to obtain contracts valued at nearly $US8 million.

Mr Lyon pleaded guilty to fraud charges last month and will be sentenced on 13 May.