Jail term for scammers suspended, pending appeal
Two individuals found guilty of running a money-making scam in Samoa have been handed jail sentences by the Supreme Court.
The sentences for Nicolas Giannos and Rosita Stanfield were handed down by Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu yesterday.
Giannos and Stanfield, who were stopped from leaving Samoa and arrested at the Faleolo International Airport last year, were found guilty of obtaining by deception with Giannos further convicted of false accounting.
Giannos was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment while Stanfield received 15 months imprisonment.
The pair, however, are remanded at liberty because they are appealing the verdict in the Court of Appeals.
The matter will not be heard until later in the year.
Yesterday, Leone Su’a appeared on behalf of the National Prosecution Office while Leota Raymond Schuster represented the two accused.
Giannos and Stanfield were jointly charged with Fa’atoafe Mati Silao with eight counts of obtaining by deception pursuant to s.172 of the Crimes Act 2013.
Giannos was also charged with two individual counts of false accounting pursuant to s.198 of the Act.
At the conclusion of the evidence for the prosecution, defence counsel made a submission of no case to answer on behalf of the three accused in respect of all the charges.
The Chief Justice ruled on 8 October 2015 that there was no case to answer in relation to the accused Fa'atoafe Mati Silao in respect of the eight joint counts of obtaining by deception with which he was charged.
Those counts against Fa’atoafe were therefore dismissed and he was discharged.
The Court also ruled that there was no case to answer in reference to the accused Giannos and Stanfield being jointly charged with two counts of obtaining by deception.
That left six joint counts of obtaining by deception against Giannos and Stanfield and two individual counts of false accounting against Giannos alone.