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Couple Indicted for $36,592 in PFD Fraud for 2008, 2009 Dividends

Juneau –On April 27, 2012, Anchorage resident Brian Faatiliga, age 31, was indicted by a Juneau grand jury on 4 felony counts of scheme to defraud, unsworn falsification in the first degree, and theft in the first degree.  The same Juneau grand jury indicted his spouse, Vaealemasina Faatiliga, on four felony counts of theft in the second degree and unsworn falsification in the first degree. 

According to the indictment, Brian and Vaealemasina Faatiliga and their six children allegedly were living and receiving benefits in Hawaii between November 2007 and August 2008.  The Faatiligas are alleged to have failed to disclose that absence on the 2008 and 2009 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) applications they filed for themselves and their children, with the result that the Faatiligas received and cashed or deposited a total of $36,592.00 in Permanent Fund Dividend checks for 2008 and 2009 that they were not eligible to receive.

The crime of scheme to defraud and theft in the first degree are class B felonies and carry a maximum penalty of a definite term of imprisonment of not more than ten years and a maximum fine of $100,000.  The crimes of unsworn falsification in the first degree and theft in the second degree are class C felonies and carry a maximum penalty of a definite term of imprisonment of not more than five years and a maximum fine of not more than $50,000. 

The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigations Unit of the State of Alaska, Department of Revenue, which is the agency tasked with investigating fraud against the Permanent Fund Dividend program. 

Readers are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  A grand jury indictment is merely an accusation.  See, Alaska Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6(b).

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