Ngersengai Hamlet, Ngiwal State, Palau – Today, Wednesday, July 31, 2019, Ngiwal Governor Ellender Ngirameketii was arrested and is expected to be arraigned at approximately 4:00 PM. The information alleges twenty counts of criminal charges including misconduct in public office, operating a business without a license, and violations of both the Social Security Act and the Code of Ethics.
The information alleges five counts of misconduct in public office, five counts of violations of the Code of Ethics, six counts of failure to make employer contributions, and four counts of operating a business without a license. Misconduct in public office is a Class B Felony. The defendant, upon conviction, faces a fine of up to $25,000, or up to ten years imprisonment, or both. In addition to being misdemeanors, violations of the Code of Ethics’ reporting requirements carry a fine of up to three times the amount the person failed to report properly. Under the Social Security Act, an employer who knowingly fails to pay any amount of contributions due to the system is guilty of a Misdemeanor and is liable for a fine of not more than $2,000. Misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both.
April Dawn Cripps, Special Prosecutor for the Republic of Palau, made the announcement and will be prosecuting the case with support from Jacob Gordin, Assistant Special Prosecutor.
NOTE: A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.