February 12, 2019

US authorities arrest Micronesian government official for conspiracy to commit money laundering

A Micronesian government official has been arrested on a criminal complaint and charged in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii with conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with his alleged participation in a scheme involving the payment of bribes by a Hawaiian engineering firm.  According to the complaint, Master Halbert, an aviation official in the Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and other FSM officials, accepted bribes in the form of cash, travel expenses, and automobiles in exchange for government contracts worth $7.8 million.  In a related case, Frank James Lyon, the owner of the engineering firm, pleaded guilty on January 22 to a one-count information filed in the District of Hawaii charging him with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and conspiracy to violate the federal program bribery provisions of 18 USC §666(a)(2).

DOJ press release | Criminal complaint