A House member under investigation for alleged payroll fraud listed payments of more than $162,000 in salaries to individuals who were not on his staff, according to congressional records.
An examination of the payroll records of Fofo I.F. Sunia (D), the nonvoting delegate from American Samoa, shows that checks were issued to the individuals between Feb. 1, 1984 and Dec. 31, 1986, according to the payroll records compiled by the House clerk and published quarterly.
Federal investigators are probing allegations that Sunia and his top aide, Matthew Iuli, arranged for paychecks to be issued to individuals falsely listed on the delegate's district staff payroll, according to sources familiar with the case.
Paychecks totaling $57,375 were issued in the name of a tribal leader on a remote Pacific island in the U.S. territory; $45,833.26 under the name of the acting general manager of a hotel in Pago Pago and nearly $25,000 was listed as being paid to an individual who is the manager of a travel agency in the Samoan capital. All were listed as project directors.
Investigators are also examining payments totaling more than $34,000 to another individual.
No charges have been filed against either Sunia or Iuli, who have not commented on the investigation.