Pohnpei prosecutors file criminal charges against four Madolenihmw officials

By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

 

February 10, 2020

Madolenihmw, Pohnpei—Prosecutors at the Pohnpei Office of the Attorney General have filed criminal charges against four representatives of the Madolenihmw Government for the theft of over $67,000.

Each of the defendants is charged with Grand Larceny, Embezzlement, Theft by Failure to Dispose of Funds Received, Cheating, Misconduct in Public Office and Criminal Conspiracy.

The charges are the result of a criminal investigation recommended by auditors of the Pohnpei Office of the Public Audit after an audit of Madolenihmw, conducted in August of last year.  That audit questioned many unpaid salary advances that were never reimbursed.

The criminal charges accuse Pretrick Ringlen, Meninkeder Lapalapen (Mayor) of Madolenihmw of having “obtained for himself $29,542.18 in form of salary advancements outside of his regular payroll checks.”  The advances occurred of the course of 12 years beginning on July 6, 2007 with the last reviewed advance in July of 2019.

The charges accuse Meioleen Etse of advancing and not repaying $9,200.18 in advances above salary during the period beginning on September 9, 2007 through June of 2019.

They accuse Sohnasem George, the Account Clerk of receiving and not reimbursing $16,910.10 in salary advances beginning on June 19, 2009 and concluding in September 2018.

Hernet Ringlen, Madolenihmw Tax Collector stands accused of taking $11,872.38 in “loans” beginning on August 14, 2014 through June of 2019.

The defendants are merely accused and are presumed to be innocent in the eyes of the law unless otherwise proven during a fair hearing.